Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said the number of hotel rooms in Langkawi had to be drastically increased to lure direct schedular flights. "There were direct flights in the past.. from Germany.. China when Langkawi was constructing many rooms. Now we have about 7,000 rooms and hotels in Langkawi. "In terms of percentage, the occupancy is very high. When we raise with airlines (on direct flights from abroad) they say they cannot do so if there is not enough rooms.
He was speaking to reporters after a function to introduce Rahsia Estates Resort Residences, Eco-Hotel and Spa here, Saturday. Work on the the RM480 million resort started in the middle of last year and would be completed by mid-2016. It featured the first Green Building Index Initiative in Langkawi.
The absence of scheduled direct flights was said to be why foreign tourists preferred Bali and Thailand, despite many conceding Langkawi is far better compared to other islands in the region.
In another development, Mukhriz said the Kuah Jetty here was being upgraded with a RM70 million allocation from the Transport Ministry.
"The Kuah Jetty is quite congested...cannot accommodate many passengers, must improve on it. However, it is no use if we upgrade Kuah Jetty but don't do so for the Kuala Kedah Jetty. We are also in the process of upgrading facilities at the Kuala Kedah Jetty. "At the same time, there is also a proposal to build a new Kuala Kedah Jetty nearby as the existing one has no room for expansion," he said.