The State of Kedah is Northwestern Malaysia is confident that it will be able to attract tourists this year in conjunction with the Discover Kedah 2016 tourism campaign. The new Discover Kedah 2016 was launched earlier this year by Kedah ex State Minister Mukhriz Mahathir.
Mukhriz Mahathir in between resigned from the post of Kedah Premier due to increasing disagreement over national politics between members of parliament and the nation’s leaders.
Before resigning, the former Premier officiated the launch of the campaign last January, sharing his vision over the VY Kedah. According to the politician, the weak Malaysian ringgit is likely to stimulate more Malaysians to switch to domestic destinations rather than going overseas. “Meanwhile, tourists from countries with higher value currencies compared to Malaysia will also be attracted to visit Malaysia as their money will have more value here,” said Mukhriz.
Mukhriz also reminded those who service provider not to take advantage of the situation to increase the charges of their services as it may discourage tourists from coming into the state. The former Minister admitted however that some of Kedah attractions were still lacking exposure due poor infrastructure.”We have also requested assistance from the federal government to help us with the infrastructure issues which we can not afford on our own. I am satisfied with the overall preparation made and I believe the Visit Kedah Year campaign is a good preparation for the ones to come in the future”, he told.
Mukhriz also hopes that more tourists would opt to visit the state mainland this year so that more investors would have confidence to invest in building hotels in the mainland. Kedah expects to attract 5 million tourists during the campaign, consisting of 63% local tourists and 37% foreign tourists. Discover Kedah 2016 should generate RM5.87 billion (US$1.4 billion) revenue to the state.
The campaign “Kedah: Where It All Began” is all about the sounds, sights, colours and stories of Kedah with most of the focus being given to the domestic market as well as to Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Promotion will also be focused more on the Mainland which has been neglected to favour the promotion of Langkawi Island.
The State has indeed more to offer than just Langkawi. Considered as the “Rice Bowl of Malaysia”, Kedah is still largely rural with relaxing landscapes of paddies surrounded by rolling hills. Tours are organised in some traditional villages to discover a rather well preserved traditional Malay way of life.
The capital city, Alor Setar, has its fair share of colonial buildings. These include the Balai Besar, Balai Seri Negeri, Masjid Zahir, the Courthouse and General Post Office. They are among the best preserved colonial structures in Malaysia; Bujang Valley is a primary archeological site in Malaysia with traces of temples going back to Buddhism and Hinduism times. A museum can be visited ont the site. Kilim river cruises in Langkawi is one of the most visited attractions as the national park covers over 100 km2 surrounded by mangrove forests and lagoons.