Langkawi cannot be compared to Haadyai – both have different attractions, say tourism players

Haadyai is a regional destination, while Langkawi is regarded as an international one.

Tourism on Langkawi caters to all market segments, say tourism players - The Vibes, January 3, 2024


By Ian McIntyre

 

TOURISM players in Langkawi do not want the island resort to be compared with southern Thailand's biggest city of Haadyai since both places of interest have varying attractions when it comes to tourism.

Haadyai is by most accounts, a regional mid-range destination just like Johor is to Singaporeans, said Tropical Charters Sdn Bhd owner Datuk Issac Alexander.

The operator of a cruise charter service here said Singapore does not complain if many of their citizens flock to Johor, especially over the Christmas - New Year festive period.

“This is similar to how some 140,000 Malaysians visited Thailand over the seven-day year-end period … Why should there be any concerns?” asked Alexander.

He said Haadyai for the longest time, was always a frequent destination for Malaysians since the 1970s.

Haadyai is a regional destination, and can maintain a cost-competitive advantage whereas Langkawi is regarded as an international one, Alexander said.

"Hence it is unfair to compare Langkawi with Haadyai. Both have different attractions and both can complement each other," said Alexander.

Haadyai is mostly about street shopping, food and entertainment whereas Langkawi is about beaches, eco-tourism, geo - parks and recreation besides its duty-free shopping.

He was responding to reports questioning tourism players if something could be done, as Malaysians are flocking to Haadyai instead of Langkawi.

Alexander said contrary to some reports, Langkawi enjoyed brisk business during the year-end festive period with some holidaymakers extending their stay there.

But the arrival figures would pale in comparison to the likes of Haadyai and Phuket (Langkawi's main competitor) because the latter had teething issues over the tides, which was caused by extreme sediments accumulation at the base of the Kuala Perlis and Kuala Kedah ferry terminals, said Alexander.

He added that this was further complicated as airlines could not find ways to lower the airfare and increase flights to Langkawi due to the irregular demand load factors.

Given time, Alexander said that Langkawi can compete with Haadyai over the number of tourists but it is pointless to compare both destinations.

"They are not in the same leisure market. Langkawi has more five-star properties compared to Haadyai."

Tourism Langkawi coordinator Ahmad Pishol Isahak said that tourism on the island resort caters to all market segments but although it may not be wise to compare, Langkawi can emulate Haadyai in some ways.

Firstly, Pishol said that the private sector there was united, so likewise in Langkawi, the entire field of travel trade members need to be on the same page.

"Unfortunately, the private sector in Langkawi is riddled with cliques with some five associations jostling to see who can best represent the industry."

Secondly, Pishol said that packaging is important, as it can drive down costs.

"Now, there is even a free tut-tut service from the border checkpoints into Haadyai."

Langkawi can do more with its connectivity points, Pishol said, adding that Penang Port Sdn Bhd must also assist by allowing the revival of the sea route between Penang and Langkawi to resume after it was suspended for the past three years.

Having better accessibility to a destination strengthens its tourism clout, said Pishol.

He added that the private sector in Langkawi must find ways to drive down costs, especially in hospitality charges and vehicle rental, as well as food.

"Langkawi is a one-stop tourism destination. It caters from budget to up-market travellers. We must cater for all and we must package it as a must-see destination."

There is also a need to animate the attractions in Langkawi, so more local tourists will find it appealing enough to come, he added - The Vibes, January 4, 2024.

 

Source : https://www.thevibes.com/articles/news/100560/langkawi-cannot-be-compared-to-haadyai-both-have-different-attractions-say-tourism-players

BoBoiBoy to bring Langkawi to new heights


Catch BoBoiBoy and friends at the Langkawi SkyCab. — Handout

Animonsta Studios is collaborating with a cable car operator to bring BoBoiBoy to the island of Langkawi in Kedah.

The studio and Panorama Langkawi will bring BoBoiBoy for a performance, entertaining folks during the school holiday at the Langkawi SkyCab.

The special episode, BoBoiBoy: Journey To Space, will be shown at the Langkawi SkyDome. This show has been produced in a 360° 3D image projection format, employing 12 state-of-the-art projectors that will allow audiences to immerse in a visually stunning experience.

Animonsta chief executive officer Nizam Abd Razak said the Langkawi SkyDome, a pioneer recreation centre of its kind in the region, promises an unparalleled and exhilarating show for visitors.

He also said that the collaboration signifies an innovative initiative aimed at drawing tourists to Langkawi as it combines the strengths of two local companies that appeal to families with children and also BoBoiBoy’s global fans.

“We hope this collaboration will attract more tourists to visit Langkawi island, and also be a stepping stone for BoBoiBoy to become a Malaysian tourism icon,” he said.

He added after 12 years in action, the local superhero BoBoiBoy is a well-known brand in the region and is excited that Panorama Langkawi is using BoBoiBoy as a tourism icon.

Visitors can ride a cable car decorated with BoBoiBoy stickers at Langkawi SkyCab, watch a special episode of BoBoiBoy: Journey To Space at Langkawi SkyDome and buy exclusive merchandise from Animonsta and Panorama Langkawi at the tourist attraction.

The latest series, BoBoiBoy Galaxy SORI, is available for streaming everywhere in Asia, through popular streaming platforms Netflix as well as on the official Monsta YouTube channel. Local television station TV9 is also showing the programme. – Bernama

 

 

Source : https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/travel/2023/12/29/boboiboy-to-bring-langkawi-to-new-heights

Langkawi back with a bang


170,000 tourist arrivals at island from Dec 1-20, says Lada

LANGKAWI: Tourism is making waves again here with thousands of holidaymakers converging since the school holidays began.

According to statistics released by the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), 68,000 visitors set foot on the island during the first week of the school holidays beginning Dec 15.

Average daily arrivals were 11,000 against the usual figure of 7,300. There were a staggering 170,000 tourist arrivals from Dec 1-20, it said. “From Jan 1 to Dec 20, there were a total of 2.63 million visitors to Langkawi,” Lada said in a statement to The Star.

It listed sea connectivity as the top mode of travel to Langkawi, accounting for 58% of arrivals. Of these, 70% arrived by ferry from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis, 15% by ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off vessels) and 6% by ferry from Thailand. The remaining 42% arrivals were by air, with the bulk (90% of the portion) coming via domestic flights.

Lada said 19 cruise ships have berthed at Langkawi, with more than 30,000 excursionists so far this year. With the momentum picking up, Lada said things were looking good for 2024.

“Next year, Lada expects three million visitors and this forecast is based on better air connectivity and also because Langkawi will host Routes Asia 2024 and other major sporting events such as Ironman Langkawi and the Langkawi International Half Marathon.”

The authority said Routes Asia 2024, to be held from Feb 27-29, will serve as a platform for the region’s airlines, airports, tourism authorities and aviation stakeholders to meet and share best practices.

Lada also announced that it will introduce a new incentive for scheduled flights to Langkawi from Jan 1 to enhance air connectivity, with a one-off US$10,000 (RM46,285) extended to participating airlines.

Air connectivity will get a boost when Flydubai begins daily flights from Dubai to Langkawi from Feb 10 next year. Lada said AirAsia will commence direct flights from Kualanamu, Medan, to Langkawi in the first quarter of next year.

Itaka, one of Poland’s biggest tour operators, will also launch chartered flights to Langkawi for three years starting from 2024.

 

Source : https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/12/27/langkawi-back-with-a-bang

Kedah targets 3 mil visitors for Langkawi in 2024


Datuk Mohd Salleh Saidin (2nd-right), Lada deputy chief executive officer Ahmad Fuad Che Ani (right), Lada Tourism director Dr Azmil Munif Mohd Bukhari (2nd-left) and Panorama Langkawi acting chief executive officer Abu Hashim Abd Rahman, during the anniversary ceremony in Langkawi. - NSTP/HAMZAH OSMAN


LANGKAWI: The Kedah government has set a target to attract three million domestic and international visitors to this island next year, affirming Langkawi as among the best nautical holiday destinations in Asia.

State Tourism, Culture and Entrepreneur Minister Datuk Mohd Salleh Saidin said the target has been set based on a positive momentum of higher numbers of visitor arrivals for the fourth quarter of this year.

Salleh said the target is also aligned with the target set by the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), an agency under the Finance Ministry," he said after launching the 21-year anniversary of Langkawi SkyCab.

He added that Flydubai is on track to commence its direct flight services from the United Arab Emirates' capital in Dubai by next Feb 10.

"At the same time, Lada will continue to collaborate with other international airlines to bring in more direct flights to the island in order to revive its tourism sector that was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the ceremony, Langkawi SkyCab operator, Panorama Langkawi Sdn Bhd also launched its four products SkyTrail; BoBoiBoy; SkyATV Ride and 3D Photo.

Present were Ayer Hangat assemblyman Shamsilah Siru, Lada deputy chief executive officer Ahmad Fuad Che Ani and Panorama Langkawi acting chief executive officer Abu Hashim Abd Rahman.

 

Source : https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/12/989983/kedah-targets-3-mil-visitors-langkawi-2024

LADA Launches Dynamic B2B Collaborations in Jakarta

Matras News, Jakarta – The Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) is proud to share their engaging initiatives with B2B partnerships in Jakarta.

The event unfolded at Holiday Inn Gajah Mada Hotel, attracting 120 travel agencies eager to engage with Langkawi’s tourism stakeholders.

This 4th to 10th December, LADA has arranged to bring forty local Langkawi stakeholders to Medan and Jakarta.

This initiative is supported by Tourism Malaysia Medan, Tourism Malaysia Jakarta and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), and the group consists of travel agencies, hotels and tourism products from Langkawi. A business session took place over two days with an interesting exchange of industry best practices and ideas.

These engaging initiatives are part of LADA’s ongoing efforts to position Langkawi as a go-to destination for international travellers specifically from Medan and Jakarta, and boosting Langkawi’s tourism and economy.

LADA has also collaborated with Air Asia to facilitate this programme by offering a special promo code to Langkawi stakeholders. Moving forward, Air Asia is interested to start offering direct flights from Indonesia to Langkawi, from Q1 2024.

Dr. Azmil Munif bin Mohd Bukhari, Tourism Manager of LADA, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “We are excited to work closely with Tourism Malaysia and our partners in Medan and Jakarta to encourage B2B partnerships across both parties.

Langkawi is not just a destination; it’s an experience and we are looking forward to welcoming our Indonesian partners and travellers to experience all that this beautiful island has to offer.”

Taking a significant step to boost the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, LADA is also now offering incentives specifically tailored for MICE activities.

Furthermore, LADA has introduced the Charter Flight and Schedule Inaugural Flight incentive for 2024, providing an enticing reward of $10,000 USD per inaugural direct flight.

These efforts come alongside LADA’s latest partnership with Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) to launch the eagerly awaited ‘MyTriple E’ incentive offer under the esteemed Meet in Malaysia campaign.

With this partnership, LADA, Tourism Malaysia, and MyCEB are joining forces to facilitate the ‘MyTriple E’ venture, which aims to create a lasting impact on the business events industry by enticing Indonesian corporations and associations to explore the myriad opportunities available in Malaysia.

This includes exceptional facilities, a thriving business environment, and an enchanting cultural landscape, all within a vibrant and diverse nation.

All of these initiatives further underscore LADA’s commitment to strengthening the ties between Indonesia and Langkawi, fostering an environment ripe for new business ventures, enriching travel experiences, and lasting partnerships.

For more information on LADA, please visit https://www.lada.gov.my/en/ and www.naturallylangkawi.my

 

Source : https://www.matrasnews.com/lada-launches-dynamic-b2b-collaborations-in-jakarta/info-wisata/

Langkawi, Taman Geo Global Pertama Di Asia Tenggara

Dataran Lang yang terletak di Persiaran Putera Kuah, Langkawi. Foto Facebook Jalan Jalan Langkawi

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 OKT: Geopark atau taman geo adalah tapak warisan yang menampilkan aspek sejarah dan geografi yang boleh dimanfaatkan oleh semua pihak bagi tujuan pembangunan, pendidikan dan pemuliharaan lestari.

Di Malaysia, terdapat beberapa tapak yang diisytiharkan kerajaan sebagai geopark, namun hanya dua bertaraf global, iaitu diiktiraf oleh Pertubuhan Pendidikan, Kebudayaan dan Saintifik Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (Unesco) setakat ini – Langkawi yang menerima status itu pada 2007, dan terbaharu pada Mei 2023, Kinabalu Geopark.

Menurut Penasihat Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark Prof Emeritus Dr Ibrahim Komoo, bukan mudah untuk memperoleh status itu dan cabaran seterusnya ialah mempertahankan penarafan tersebut.

Langkawi yang juga geopark global pertama Asia Tenggara, menampilkan keunikan menerusi himpunan 99 buah pulau dan ini turut menjadi cabaran kepada pentadbir, iaitu kerajaan Kedah dan Lembaga Pembangunan Langkawi (Lada) dalam mengekalkan status geopark global Unesco hingga ke hari ini.

Ibrahim berkata pelbagai usaha dilaksana bagi memastikan taman itu dapat mempertahankan status kad hijau buat kali keempat berturut-turut sejak 2007.

“Kad hijau adalah pembaharuan label Unesco Global Geopark. Sejak menerima status itu, kita berusaha tanpa mengenal lelah untuk memastikan kita dapat mengekalkan status geopark global, dan status ini berjaya dipertahankan sekali lagi pada awal September lalu,” katanya dalam temu bual dengan Bernama baru-baru ini.

Ujarnya, pencapaian itu adalah sesuatu yang harus dibanggakan oleh seluruh negara kerana tidak mudah untuk memenuhi kriteria yang disyaratkan di bawah Unesco Global Geopark.

Pemandangan Tasik Dayang Bunting. Foto Facebook NF Vibrant Holidays Sdn Bhd

Serampang dua mata

Ibrahim yang juga Felow Utama Institut Alam Sekitar dan Pembangunan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, berkata pembabitan pelbagai pihak diperlukan dalam mempertahankan status itu.

“Contohnya, semasa penilaian ketiga pada 2019, antara yang kami ketengahkan kepada penilai Unesco ialah penyertaan pengusaha hotel yang mewujudkan galeri geopark di hotel masing-masing, sekali gus mencerminkan kefahaman mereka tentang perlunya pembangunan geopark ini dilakukan secara bersama-sama.

“Kemudian, semasa penilaian terbaharu pada tahun ini, kami mewujudkan dua produk berkaitan pelancongan geo. Satu daripadanya ialah mengubah Gunung Raya menjadi kawasan taman hutan geo baharu. Kawasan ini merangkumi Kilim Karst, Machinchang dan Tasik Dayang Bunting.

“Selain itu, kita juga berjaya mewujudkan lima denai geo baharu sebagai tambahan kepada Kubang Badak BioGeo Trail,” jelas beliau.

Satu daripada denai baharu tersebut ialah di Pulau Tuba, dan menurut Ibrahim, laluan itu dibangunkan sejak dua tahun lalu susulan penemuan penyelidikan bahawa terdapat 28 tapak yang mempunyai nilai geologi, biologi dan warisan kebudayaan di pulau berkenaan.

“Menerusi penyelidikan ini, Lada membangunkan beberapa denai yang menghubungkan kesemua 28 tapak dengan bantuan penduduk setempat. Pemandu pelancong akan memberi pencerahan tentang kesemua lokasi ini sambil pelancong melewati tempat-tempat berkenaan.

“Penduduk juga telah menubuhkan Persatuan Best Tuba yang bagi saya agak menarik kerana mereka terlibat secara aktif dalam projek denai geo ini. Mereka juga bersedia menawarkan pelbagai jenis pengangkutan seperti bugi elektrik bagi memudahkan pelancong menyelusuri denai,” katanya, menambah projek turut bertujuan meningkatkan lagi sosioekonomi penduduk setempat.

Kereta kabel Langkawi terletak di Gunung Mat Chinchang, barat laut pulau Langkawi. Foto Facebook Nik Nurfarahin Abdullah

Kerjasama semua pihak

Bercerita lanjut, Ibrahim berkata Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark mempunyai biodiversiti yang luas meliputi paya bakau, pantai dan muara sungai, sekali gus membuatkan kawasan itu begitu bernilai dan perlu dilindungi tanpa kompromi.

Taman geo ini mempunyai jujukan sedimen atau mendapan era Palaeozik paling terdedah dan lengkap di Malaysia, iaitu dari tempoh Kambrium hingga Permian yang berlaku sekitar 220 juta tahun dahulu.

Mujurlah katanya usaha menjaga dan memulihara warisan alam itu mendapat sokongan penduduk setempat yang bukan sahaja menyediakan pelbagai kemudahan untuk pelancong tetapi turut memastikan kemudahan tersebut seiring usaha memulihara.

“Pendek kata setiap orang memainkan peranan mereka. Begitu juga institusi pendidikan seperti sekolah yang bekerjasama dengan kita. Ada 32 sekolah yang mewujudkan sudut maklumat taman geo di sekolah masing-masing, selain penyertaan pelajar dalam program kita, menunjukkan minat mendalam generasi lebih muda dalam melindungi permata alam semula jadi ini,” katanya.

Menjaga alam semula jadi

Sementara itu, Pengurus Pelancongan Lada Dr Azmil Munif Mohd Bukhari berkata agensi tersebut sentiasa bekerjasama dengan pelbagai pihak termasuk Jabatan Geosains dan Mineral dalam menangani impak perubahan iklim terhadap alam sekitar di Langkawi Geopark.

“Kami membangunkan sistem amaran awal yang ditempatkan di lokasi-lokasi strategik terutama di air terjun Telaga Tujuh, di mana di situ adalah laluan mendaki ke Gunung Machinchang.

“Sistem amaran awal ini akan memaklumkan jika hujan lebat melanda dan kemungkinan berlaku kepala air serta angin kuat yang boleh membahayakan pelancong di kawasan itu,” katanya.

Bagi melindungi nilai warisan alam semula jadi, Lada memastikan tidak ada sebarang pembangunan tidak perlu dilaksanakan di hutan simpan kekal di Langkawi.

“Kita bertuah kerana hampir 60 peratus kawasan geopark di Langkawi ini terletak di hutan simpan kekal yang dilindungi sepenuhnya oleh Akta Hutan Perhutanan Negara 1984.

“Sehubungan itu, kami mengehadkan pembangunan kepada seminimum mungkin, iaitu hanya sekadar memenuhi keperluan pelancong dan penduduk setempat, antaranya jeti, kawasan letak kenderaan, gerai serta pusat penerangan. Pembangunan tidak boleh dilakukan sewenang-wenangnya bagi melindungi lokasi warisan alam semula jadi ini,” jelas beliau.

-BERNAMA


Fourth Green Card Adds Feather In Cap For Langkawi Geopark

KUALA LUMPUR: Langkawi, known by its sobriquet the Jewel of Kedah, needs no introduction as it has since become one of the most visited tourist destinations worldwide.

For nature lovers, the Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark, which was formed on 99 islands that together made up the legendary Langkawi Archipelago, is definitely one not to be missed.Langkawi was declared a geopark by the Global Geopark (UGGp) network under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on June 1, 2007, and subject to re-assessment every four years.

The island successfully retained the 'green card' status for the previous three re-assessments, which geology experts carried out in 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Langkawi was awarded the green card status for the fourth time after revalidation on June 30 to July 4 this year. This was announced at the 10th International Conference on Unesco Global Geoparks M'Goun Unesco Global Geopark in Morocco from September 7 to September 11.

A geopark refers to an area with geological and historical heritage sites that can be utilised by all parties for sustainable preservation, education and development. Hence, it is essential for a geopark to retain ecological, archaeological, historical and cultural attributes.

Fully supervised by the Kedah state government and the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), its Adviser, Professor Emeritus Dr Ibrahim Komoo said various efforts had been taken to ensure the geopark preserves its green card status for the fourth time.

"A green card signifies renewal of the Unesco Global Geopark label, with Langkawi receiving its most recent green card in 2019. Due to our relentless efforts, we were able to retain our global geopark status early September this year, making this an important triumph for the entire nation," he told Bernama recently.

Two-pronged development

Ibrahim who is also a professor from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) said there is an array of regional developments that need to be undertaken for Unesco to grant such an honorary green card.

"For instance, in the third assessment in 2019, one of the advancements we highlighted to the Unesco assessors was the participation of numerous hotel sector parties who established geopark galleries in their hotels, exhibiting their understanding of the need for developing this geopark together.

"Then, for the recent evaluation which took place this year, we have created two geo-tourism-related products and one of which is to transform Gunung Raya into a brand new geoforest park area. Previously, the area consisted of Kilim Karst, Machinchang and Dayang Bunting Lake.

"Other than that, we were also able to establish five new geo-trails in addition to Kubang Badak BioGeo Trail, all of which would be maintained by neighbourhood inhabitants," he added.

Touching on one of the geotrails namely Pulau Tuba, Ibrahim said it has been under development for the past two years as a result of recent research showing that there are about 28 sites with geological, biological and cultural heritage values ​​on the island.

"Through this study, Lada has constructed several routes that connect all 28 of these places with the assistance of the island's residents. The tour guide will narrate tales about the uniqueness of these priceless locations as you travel down this path.

"The residents of the area formed the Tuba Best Association, which is quite interesting because they are actively participating in this wholesome geotrails project. They are also willing to offer various transportation facilities such as electric buggies to make it easier for tourists to make their way along this route," he said, adding that the projects are aimed at improving the socio-economic capacity of the local population.

Cooperation from all

Ibrahim added Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark is blessed with biodiversity in diverse habitats including mangroves, beaches and estuaries, hence making it

Ibrahim added Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark is blessed with biodiversity in diverse habitats including mangroves, beaches and estuaries, hence making it far more valuable to be protected at any cost.

At this reverie mangrove, tourists will not only have the chance to embrace the beauty of the mesmerising scenery, but will also get to see the fierce eagle, kingfishers, mudskippers, fiddler crabs, and monitor lizard, among others.

The Langkawi Geopark has the best-exposed and most complete Palaeozoic sedimentary sequence in Malaysia, from the Cambrian to the Permian period which took place around 220 million years ago.

Fortunately, he said, Pulau Langkawi residents from all walks of life have demonstrated their genuine dedication to maintaining the geopark by providing top-notch accommodations and facilities that are accessible to visitors around the clock.

"As you can see, everyone accomplished their part. School institutions are also collaborating with us to complete this global geopark mission. There are around 32 schools that have created a geopark information corner in their respective schools, while there is also participation of numerous children in the junior geopark guide programme which demonstrates the younger generation's keen interest in protecting this natural gem," said Ibrahim.

Safeguarding the nature

Meanwhile, Lada's tourism manager, Dr Azmil Munif Mohd Bukhari, said the agency has established cooperation with various parties including the minerals and geosciences department (JMG) in dealing with any impact of climate change on the environment from interfering with the development and sustainability of Langkawi Geopark.

"We have several early warning systems established, particularly in the Telaga Tujuh waterfall region where there is a climbing route for the Machinchang Mountain because we recognise that the tremendous climate change that is occurring throughout the world can undoubtedly have an adverse impact on everyone.

"This warning system will notify that there is heavy rain and the possibility of causing water heads and strong wind debris flow that could endanger tourists in the area," he added.

To prevent any harm to this natural heritage value, Lada has also protected the permanent forest reserves on the island from needless development.

"We are so lucky because almost 60 per cent of the geopark area in Langkawi are in a permanent forest reserve and it has been fully protected by the National Forest Act 1984 (Act 313).

"Therefore, we limit our development to the bare minimum required to serve both tourists and locals, such as piers, parking spaces, stalls and information centres. This is due to the fact that development cannot take place at random to maintain the protection of all these natural heritage locations," he elaborated. – Bernama


Langkawi Kekal Status Geopark Global 4 Tahun Lagi

Abdul Wahid (kiri) menyampaikan sijil penghargaan kepada Ibrahim (tengah) pada Majlis Makan Malam sempena Kursus Serantau GGN Ke-6 2023 di Mercure Hotel Langkawi. - Foto NSTP/Hamzah Osman


LANGKAWI: Status Langkawi sebagai geopark global Pertubuhan Pendidikan, Saintifik dan Kebudayaan Pertubuhan Bangsa Bersatu (UNESCO) dilanjutkan selama empat tahun lagi apabila diberi penarafan kad hijau baru-baru ini.

Ia membanggakan kerana pulau pelancongan ini mengekal pengiktirafan peringkat dunia itu buat kali keempat berturut-turut termasuk tiga proses penilaian semula sebelum ini pada 2011, 2015 dan 2019.

Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Sumber Asli, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim, Datuk Abdul Wahid Abu Salim berkata, Lembaga Pembangunan Langkawi (LADA) telah dimaklumkan pengekalan status itu dibuat pada Mesyuarat Majlis Geopark UNESCO pada 5 September lalu.

"Tahniah kepada Langkawi kerana berjaya mengekal status kad hijau dalam pengesahan semula baru-baru ini, sekali gus melanjutkan keahlian pulau itu dalam Rangkaian Geopark Global (GGN) sehingga 2027.

"Pulau itu telah diberi status geopark global pada 1 Jun 2007 dan muncul Geopark pertama di Asia Tenggara pada masa itu," katanya ketika berucap pada Majlis Makan Malam sempena Kursus Serantau GGN Ke-6 2023 di Mercure Hotel Langkawi, malam tadi.

Yang turut hadir, Naib Presiden GGN dan Penasihat Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo; Pegawai Pemasaran Kanan Biro Pengurusan Geopark Kepulauan Oki, Jepun, Yagoda Waloszyn dan Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi, Prof Datuk Dr Norzaini Azman.

Julai lalu, akhbar ini melaporkan dua pakar iaitu Dr Yuanyuan Zheng dari China dan Dr Yongmun Jeon (Korea) berkampung di pulau ini selama lima hari bagi menjalankan proses penilaian semula status Langkawi Geopark.

Pada majlis makan malam itu, Abdul Wahid turut menyampaikan sijil penghargaan kepada tiga tokoh yang membantu membangunkan Langkawi Geopark.

Mereka termasuk bekas Pengurus Besar LADA yang juga Presiden Kawan-Kawan Geopark Langkawi, Datuk Kamarulzaman Andul Ghani; Ahli Paleontologi, Felo Penyelidik Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia dan Penasihat Geopark Lembah Kinta, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohd Shafeea Leman dan Dr Ibrahim.

Kursus serantau selama tiga hari bertujuan berkongsi pengalaman dan bertukar pandangan dalam memperkasa pengurusan geopark itu disertai 83 peserta mewakli Indonesia, Thailand, Filipina dan tuan rumah, Malaysia.