KUALA LUMPUR: Langkawi was never neglected by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, says Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus Akhbar Khan.
"Langkawi has always been one of the main products that is being promoted as a tourism destination to international markets,” he said.
He added that his ministry had made major investments for the island and added that there should be no doubt of the government’s commitment to promote the island.
"The Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has supported all tourism and sport events in Langkawi,” said Khairul in his winding up speech for the ministry’s Supply Bill 2024 at the committee stage on Thursday (Nov 23).
He cited the Langkawi Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), Ironman Langkawi including the Langkawi International Half Marathon programme which is scheduled to be held on Dec 2 this year as examples of these events.
The Batu Sapi MP, said the ministry was also supporting sports events that would be held next year, such as the Royal Langkawi International Regatta.
"Not only does MyCEB support the programmes, but provides subsidies to assist international events that are to be held on the island,” said Khairul.
"This also includes supporting Langkawi as the destination for programmes listed under the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions tourism segment (MICE)," he added.
Earlier, Langkawi, dubbed the 'Jewel of Kedah', made headlines after it was reported to have lost its visitors and was at risk of becoming a ghost town after stakeholders reported a decline in bookings for tourism related activities.
In a report by The Star on Nov 18, it was said that the island might miss its target number of visitors this year by half a million after recording a month-on-month drop of almost 20% of visitor arrivals compared with last year.
According to the statistics sighted by the paper from the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), tourist arrivals to the island had begun to shrink since September.