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YOURSAY | Langkawi can say goodbye to tourism

YOURSAY | ‘Deputy minister Khairul Firdaus doesn’t know a thing about marketing.’

Zaid hits out at ministry’s Muslim-friendly tourism idea for Langkawi

OCT: Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan doesn’t know a thing about marketing. He doesn’t even know how many Muslim tourists are visiting Malaysia, especially Langkawi, and the reason they do so.

Tourists come to Malaysia to experience local customs and culture, which are not the same as in their countries.

The number of tourists coming to Malaysia from the Middle East is very few compared to those from other countries so Malaysia must market products that tourists want, not what the country wants to market, or else it all becomes a failure.

Here, Malaysia wants to market products similar to what Middle Eastern countries offer. Middle Eastern countries have theme parks, six-star hotels, big malls and good entertainment at night, which is what Langkawi lacks.

Get the marketing strategy right or say goodbye to tourism as tourists don’t want restrictions from unpublished rules and regulations. They shouldn’t have to worry about dress codes and liquor bans.

Thor: Muslim tourism is a niche industry worth tens of billions of ringgit. There might be an influx of Muslims into Langkawi once alcohol is banned and syariah-compliant dressing is mandatory. No more bikinis and only halal food is served.

Muslims will feel at ease and this will have a snowball effect on tourism. Target the pious Muslims in India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Middle East.

Many are cash-rich but very conservative, and they will make a beeline for Langkawi. If it succeeds, extend this for-Muslim tourism approach to Kelantan and Terengganu.

The majority of the local population is conservative and supports PAS, and Muslim-compliant tourism will respect local sensitivities. Non-Muslims can go to Penang, Bali, Pattaya, and dozens of other beach resorts.

Traveloka Winning: The model Islamic tourism destination that Langkawi is aspiring to become should have no bars, no alcohol, no bikinis, no partying and nothing of the Western ills.

More importantly, as a measure to compensate for the lack of morally decayed Western customers (we don’t need them anyway), it should also export proper Islamic teachings to the whole world.

In this regard, the Madani government can work together with PAS leaders so that they can make Langkawi the Mecca for aspiring people who want to properly defend Islamic values.

Ghost Rider: Go to Hat Yai, Thailand. Any day, anytime, go to the tourist spots and see who is there. Among the tourists are Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah Malays - men, women and children.

It’s human nature. When the authorities don’t impose restrictions, people do what they naturally, subconsciously like. Go to Phuket or Koh Samui, you’ll see Malaysians wearing bikinis and taking selfies.

The more you restrict them locally, the more they will go to Hat Yai, Phuket and Pattaya. Think Langkawi can beat that? Not in a hundred years. Sawadee ka!

Tg Rambutan Wad 13 inmate: Non-Muslims will now skip Langkawi as a holiday destination. Welcome to Hat Yai, Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui in Thailand where there are no restrictions to alcohol and nightlife.

Food is 30 percent cheaper there and they offer great massage service. Tourists can go to bars or entertain themselves gazing at fish in the aquarium.

Let Langkawi die a natural death.

Love Malaysia2: When I was in Langkawi last, it seemed the Muslim tourists were in the majority without or maybe, because of, the absence of catering to their special needs.

You have to decide what you want it to be, a tropical paradise or a concrete jungle.

YellowWolf4469: To the deputy minister, talk is cheap. The devil is in the details and implementation. Langkawi is already an expensive destination and to top that you want to impose conditions on tourists?

It’s okay, we can go somewhere else to chill. Their rhetoric is already giving the country a bad name. Go dig a bigger hole.

Mosquitobrain: Tourism industry in Langkawi under the BN administration decades ago was already facing stiff competition from neighbouring countries. No need for Mahsuri’s curse.

With so many restrictions, foreigners can choose other destinations (like Sabah or Sarawak).

Langkawi will very soon become a doomed tourist destination.

YellowKite1308: I guess the best bet for Langkawi would be to turn the island into an agriculture hub. Let it grow to become a greenhouse for Malaysia. Hire locals only.

Set up an Indian Ocean deep sea fishing fleet there. Hire locals only.

Make it more of an inward-looking place since there is no way in the world for the island to compete with others with such crappy policies.

To make Langkawi a great tourism destination, with its local charm, perhaps the island will stand a chance to attract tourism to its unique shores, much like Bali.

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