LANGKAWI: Having suffered practically zero income in the last eight months, cruise boat operator Hamiezuar Hamizan is looking forward to making up for lost time.
“I’m happy that the government has allowed Langkawi to reopen for visitors. It has been a very tough period, but I’m hoping for a positive end to the year,” he said.
Red Sky restaurant marketing manager Siti Raudhah Shaari said although they have opened for dining in since Sept 4, the response has been lukewarm.
“We hope business will get better after the reopening. All our staff are fully vaccinated and we also sanitise our restaurant regularly,” she said.
The famous Underwater World Langkawi (UWL) has lined up exciting programmes for visitors to mark the company’s 25th anniversary in December.
“For now, we will only allow 300 people to enter the building at any one time, compared to 3,000 before the pandemic,” said its general manager Noraini Jumaat.
Hawker Lina Hassan, 40, said the decision by the Federal Government to make Langkawi a tourism bubble would surely improve the well-being of locals.
“I am still depending on cash aid from the government. My business revenue now only covers rental and raw essential items for my hawker business,” she said at her stall located in Bazaar Cenang Food Court.
The mother-of-three hopes the tourism bubble would be successful so that they can enjoy brisk business again.
Hotel manager Mohd Nazri Hussain, 53, describes life for the past two years in Langkawi as “empty and hollow”.
“There was no one walking along the streets of Pantai Cenang. You can even lie down and sleep in the middle of the road,” he said.
Mohd Nazri is confident Langkawi would be vibrant again with the arrival of tourists.
Businessman Mohd Shahril Chek Mokhtar, 33, said the re-opening of Langkawi will boost the local economy and prove Malaysians can live with the pandemic.