LANGKAWI, 17 April 2019: Langkawi, a popular tourist island in north Malaysia, will “focus on sustainable development by balancing growth and conservation,” according to Langkawi Development Authority’s new CEO, Dr Hezri Adnan.
He took over the top Lada post, 1 April following the departure of Datuk Azizan Noordin whose contract as CEO ended in November 2018.
Prior to this appointment, he was senior director research at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.
Just days after his appointment, Lada posted on its Facebook page a statement saying the new CEO has made a strong commitment to establishing sustainable tourism on the island.
“It is our hope to see Langkawi as an example for other townships to emulate in terms of green policies,“ he said.
The Kedah-born academic said tourism in Langkawi would be upgraded with sustainable practices to ensure the ecology and pristine conditions of the island were preserved.
Noting the island is proud of its UNESCO Geo Park status with its signature mangrove cruises he said the promotional tagline “Natural Langkawi” would set the tone for the island’s branding.
Within days of his appointment, he met with executives and key staff of Lada Eco Tourism a division of the development authority.
The Lada facebook page also quoted tourism industry veteran Ahmad Pishol Isahak saying a new approach was needed as the “field has become crowded” with many hotel properties, travel agents and online service providers such as Grab and Airbnb.
“Everybody wants a slice of the pie which has become smaller as tourism is competitive globally. We need to go back to the basics when it comes to tourism – our friendly Malaysian hospitality.”