Malaysia will sell Langkawi as the “ultimate green fun in the sun” resort, following the United Nations’ move to accord it a geo-park status.
The Tourism Ministry is also working hard to bring more visitors to the resort island with air links to Bali and Phuket.
“Not only is Langkawi a showcase of green, it is also a romantic island.
“We want to make Langkawi the tourist destination,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“Langkawi’s status as the only geo-park in Malaysia and South-East Asia is a really big boost for the island to draw tourists,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the island’s new status by Langkawi Development Authority officials here yesterday.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid announced on Thursday that the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) had accorded geo-park status to Langkawi on June 1.
It is the 52nd geo-park in the world.
The status was given after Unesco found it had fulfilled three criteria: having a large mangrove park; natural resources, such as beaches and islands; and a multi-racial culture.
The Unesco website describes a geo-park as a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance for geological as well as archaeological or cultural values.
Tengku Adnan said the achievement would go well with the ministry’s change in strategy to market Malaysia to the world, adding that the promotional tagline from now is Malaysia, Heart of Asia.
“It used to be Malaysia Truly Asia, where we sold Malaysia as a whole destination,” he said.
Tengu Adnan said the new strategy would see the branding of various places of interest.
“For example, Langkawi will sell on its own with its reputation as a geo-park.
“It should also serve as an important centre for knowledge, especially for children to learn more about the environment,” he said.
On tourist arrivals to Langkawi up to April this year, he said there were more than 680,800 visitors compared to 635,000 over the same period last year.
Source : STAR
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