Maintain natural environment to lure tourists, Minister urges

Players in the tourism industry have to conserve and maintain Malaysia’s natural environment, which is a major draw for tourists heading to the country, said Deputy Tourism Minister Dr James Dawos Mamit.

He said efforts to make the tourism sector a major source of income for the country would fail if these natural attractions were contaminated.

Dawos also urged the people of Langkawi to cooperate in taking care of public amenities and prevent vandalism as it would only cause losses for both the government and the people.

“It will frustrate plans to develop Langkawi’s economy,” he said when closing the 2011 Langkawi Geopark Carnival organised by the Langkawi DevelopmentAuthority (Lada) at Dataran Lang, last night.

The carnival was held in conjunction with the fourth anniversary of Langkawi’s status as part of the Global Geopark Network by Unesco in 2007.

Dawos suggested that the carnival be made an annual event as it would attract more visitors to Langkawi.

He said it was also hoped that Langkawi Geopark would continue to be a member of Unesco’s Global Geopark Network after its audit and evaluation this year.

Meanwhile, Lada General Manager Azman Umar said the declaration of Langkawi as a geopark had boosted the island’s tourism industry.

The five-day carnival saw a variety of events such as geohunts, exhibitions, shadow plays, beach volleyball and cultural performances.

– Bernama