Langkawi back with a bang

170,000 tourist arrivals at island from Dec 1-20, says Lada

LANGKAWI: Tourism is making waves again here with thousands of holidaymakers converging since the school holidays began.

According to statistics released by the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), 68,000 visitors set foot on the island during the first week of the school holidays beginning Dec 15.

Average daily arrivals were 11,000 against the usual figure of 7,300. There were a staggering 170,000 tourist arrivals from Dec 1-20, it said.

“From Jan 1 to Dec 20, there were a total of 2.63 million visitors to Langkawi,” Lada said in a statement to The Star.

It listed sea connectivity as the top mode of travel to Langkawi, accounting for 58% of arrivals. Of these, 70% arrived by ferry from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis, 15% by ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off vessels) and 6% by ferry from Thailand.

The remaining 42% arrivals were by air, with the bulk (90% of the portion) coming via domestic flights.

Lada said 19 cruise ships have berthed at Langkawi, with more than 30,000 excursionists so far this year.

With the momentum picking up, Lada said things were looking good for 2024.

“Next year, Lada expects three million visitors and this forecast is based on better air connectivity and also because Langkawi will host Routes Asia 2024 and other major sporting events such as Ironman Langkawi and the Langkawi International Half Marathon.”

The authority said Routes Asia 2024, to be held from Feb 27-29, will serve as a platform for the region’s airlines, airports, tourism authorities and aviation stakeholders to meet and share best practices.

Lada also announced that it will introduce a new incentive for scheduled flights to Langkawi from Jan 1 to enhance air connectivity, with a one-off US$10,000 (RM46,285) extended to participating airlines.

Air connectivity will get a boost when Flydubai begins daily flights from Dubai to Langkawi from Feb 10 next year.

Lada said AirAsia will commence direct flights from Kualanamu, Medan, to Langkawi in the first quarter of next year.

Itaka, one of Poland’s biggest tour operators, will also launch chartered flights to Langkawi for three years starting from 2024.

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