LANGKAWI, Sept 16 — The National Recovery Council (MPN) is optimistic that more tourists will be visiting Langkawi very soon when the travel bubble pilot project is successful.

Its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in the initial stages of the project, there were many things that needed to be refined, but things ran more smoothly once the people and tourism industry operators gained more confidence.

“I expect that when the level of confidence among tourism operators grows and facilities can again once be used by tourists, what more when international flights are allowed in, then the (arrival) numbers will start changing.

“I am expecting more (than what is targeted) as Langkawi has a 12,000 room capacity. Insyallah, many more new hotels will be built when the situation improves,” he said in a media conference after attending a dialogue session with Langkawi hotel, homestay and rental car operators as well as taxi drivers here today.

He was asked to comment on the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s target of 200,000 tourist arrivals in Langkawi by December following the reopening of the tourism industry under the tourism bubble pilot project today.

Muhyiddin also expects the National Security Council (MKN) to further relax standard operating procedures (SOPs), especially related to interstate travel when the country achieves its herd immunity targets and more states move into Phase Two or Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

When this happens, he said the people will be allowed to carry out more activities, not only related to tourism, but also business, transportation and manufacturing.

“What’s important is a quicker recovery process, we can’t delay this because we have incurred very high costs in the past year due to the pandemic,” he said. — Bernama