The Malaysian Prime Minister wants to turn Langkawi into a high-end tourist destination to spur numerous multiplier effects for the local economy. In a recent report by Bernama News, Prime Minister Najib Razak wants more effort to be put to turn Langkawi into a high-net-worth tourist destination in the region. Speaking during the Langkawi Tourism Awards 2015 ceremony at the Langkawi International Convention Centre (LICC) here recently, he said efforts to turn Langkawi into the “Monaco of the East” for well-heeled tourists should be done while maintaining its attraction for mass tourism.
The Prime Minister said – “I would like to see Langkawi emerge as the ‘Monaco of the East’ for high net-worth tourists, while maintaining its appeal for mass tourism. I would like to see two-tier development for Langkawi, one for mass tourism and another one for high-net-worth tourists,” he said. He said turning Langkawi to a high-end tourist destination for deep-pocketed tourists would spur numerous multiplier effects for the local economy such as creating high-paying jobs.”
According to the Prime Minister, there are pockets of high-end tourist destinations in Langkawi such as the St Regis luxurious hotel, but the development for that kind of destinations need to be enhanced. Langkawi’s St Regis hotel, known for its luxury rooms and facilities, he said, will open its doors to customers in April next year, bringing along a Michelin-star restaurant to the island which will also be the first Michelin-star restaurant in Langkawi Island.
The Prime Minister was also hopeful that the responsible parties would develop stronger brands for Langkawi, to put the island in the same league as Bali, which is more recognisable among tourists as compared to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.
Another one of Langkawi’s plus points that needed to be highlighted to tourists Najib said, was that the island is peaceful, secure and safe from disturbances, which engulfed other tourist destinations in other parts of the world. The Prime Minister cited terrorist attacks suffered by other tourist destinations like what happened in Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and other places.
“Langkawi should remain peaceful, safe and secure and efforts should be made to maintain it,” he said and in jest added that he hoped that there were no supporters of the so called Islamic State (IS) militants or Daesh terrorists in Langkawi. Najib also hoped the authorities would put in more effort to attract Russian tourists.
Main Image: St.Regis Langkawi Island, image from Starwood Hotels. Story from Bernama News on Langkawi to be branded as Monaco of the East.