LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today launched a tourism plan of action designed to make Langkawi as renowned as some of the world-famous islands.
Launching the blueprint, which incorporates the implementation of a 2011-2015 development programme, at a hotel here, Najib said Langkawi must brand itself strongly, particularly in terms of its spectacular natural assets.
The prime minister said the implementation of the blueprint is expected to boost the island’s tourism income in 2015 to RM3.8 billion through three million tourist arrivals, besides making available 4,200 jobs.
He said an investment of RM5 billion was necessary during the period of implementation of the blueprint, and that 52 per cent of the funding would be generated by the private sector.
He said the government would allocate RM420 million, as provided for in Budget 2012, to undertake the development outlined in the blueprint.
Najib also said he hoped that the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) would immediately address the threat of erosion at Cenang because it was a popular beach for tourists.
He said the beach would be given a facelift through a holistic redevelopment incorporating a commercial zone to make it the ideal place for recreational activities for families and tourists.
Najib also announced the appointment of former chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, 62, as the new general manager of Lada from the beginning of this month.
He said he was convinced that Khalid’s experience and expertise in the civil service at the state and federal levels would enable him to implement the blueprint successfully.
In conjunction with the launch of the blueprint, Najib and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Razak witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Higher Education Ministry and Taylor’s University on the setting up of the Tourism Academy.
The ministry was represented by deputy secretary-general (management) Datuk Omar Abdul Rahman and the university by its vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Hassan Said. — BERNAMA