KUALA LUMPUR, 7 Nov — Langkawi is at risk of being a “ghost town” without any drastic measures from Putrajaya, the Langkawi Tourism Association (LTA) reportedly said.
LTA said the hospitality sector on the island relies heavily on tourism, and has been affected heavily by the decrease of domestic tourists.
"Langkawi will become a 'ghost town' once more like it was during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prime issue here is that there is no specific promotion to make Langkawi vibrant again.
"So now Langkawi has lost its charm even for domestic tourists," LTA chief executive Zainuddin Kadir told the paper.
LTA hopes that the state and federal governments can discuss and come to a solution for the sake of reviving Langkawi which can further contribute to the country’s economy, he said.
The group revealed that hotel bookings for the upcoming Deepavali holidays hit a record low with hotels rated three stars and above only 10 per cent booked and 58 per cent of them expecting to face losses.
LTA also said in October, 31 out of 163 food and beverage establishments registered with it shut down their operations, while car rental companies have sold their assets.
Zainuddin said restaurants, for example, rely heavily on outsiders as locals rarely eat out.
"They are not able to bear the debts with the bank. The food entrepreneurs and the rental car businesses are the most affected now. They had to surrender themselves to the bank.
"It will increase even more if no proactive steps are taken by the parties involved,” he reportedly said.