By V. Sivaji
After a long hiatus of 8 months, the Langkawi International Airport (PIA) became a hive of activity in line with the Langkawi travel bubble initiative.
A total of 19 flights by AirAsia, MAS, Malindo and Firefly made up the flight which landed loaded with visitors.
On hand was the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dato Sri Nancy Shukri, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, Tourism Malaysia/Motac and Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) officials.
They greeted eager and excited arrivals at the PIA and the Kuah jetty.
Among the visitors was Mr and Mrs Manason accompanied by their four children. They are currently based in Kuala Lumpur and decided to book their flight to Langkawi on the first flight out for a holiday.
“We had to undergo the RTK Antigen test at the airport in Kuala Lumpur before boarding the flight,” said Manason who hails from Perth , Australia.
Meanwhile, shopping malls in Cenang Mall in Cenang and the Billion, Teoh Soon Huat in Kuah area are also open.
Along the Pantai Cenang stretch, the atmosphere has started to get busier with more cars and visitors.
“The arrival of visitors is a great relief for tourism operators in Langkawi since the MCO.
“The tourism sector was greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as the last time Langkawi received visitors was in December 2020,” said Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) chief executive officer, Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib.
It is believed that some 1,297 visitors will arrive through the LIA and jetty terminal here on Sept 16. Flight and ferry schedules will be increased accordingly.
Also making his presence was former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who is the Ex prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin current role as the chairman of the National Recovery Council.
“We hope to attain the “herd immunity” in October and we are also considering plans for allowing foreign tourists by chartered flights to arrive in Langkawi. They will not require quarantine,” said Muhyiddin after a dialogue session with tourism industry operators at the Danna Hotel.
He also added that the country had been badly impacted by the pandemic and we cannot delay in planning for the economic recovery steps.