New Lada CEO sees tourism expansion for Langkawi

LANGKAWI: Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) enters a new era of leadership with the appointment of Datuk Azizan Noordin (pix) as its chief executive officer effective Dec 1.

The former deputy director-general (Promotion) of Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) succeeded Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, who called it a day on Nov 30 after five years at the helm of Lada.

Having been in the tourism line for nearly four decades, he considers Langkawi as one of his usual ports of call in building up his career since 1978.

"In fact, just a few months after joining Tourism Malaysia (then known as Tourists Development Corporation or TDC), I was transferred to Penang and occasionally travelled to Langkawi.

That was how my 'love story' with Langkawi started," he said recently.

Azizan said back in the late 70s, Langkawi Airport was like a mere taxi stand at a nearby country club serving as its terminal and air traffic control. After 38 years, a lot of changes had taken place, he noted, "And I know there will be more changes to come."

To start with, he said, he would tap the potentials of bringing in more tourists to Langkawi through joint collaborations between Tourism Malaysia and several leading global airlines.

"These collaborations are with Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. We will try to get more tourists from Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand through these collaborations," he said.

Azizan said tourism inflow to Langkawi would also be intensified through promotions of chartered flights. He said digital and social media would be used more to promote the island in order to expand the reach to a greater pool of tourists within a shorter period of time.

Langkawi could expand further from its billing as a renowned ecotourism destination to an established place for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), he added. — Bernama