LANGKAWI: The tourism sector needs two new initiatives to stimulate the industry, Tourism Langkawi pro tem chairman Ahmad Pishol Isahak said today. He called for the setting up a national maintenance fund for the upkeep of public recreational facilities and amenities. He also urged the government to outsource tourism marketing and promotions to the private sector. Following a rash of collapsed jetties and drownings at public picnic spots, Ahmad Pishol called for more emphasis on safety and maintenance of such areas. "We cannot afford any carelessness to ruin our tourism attractions,” he said. “In Langkawi, a jetty had collapsed under the weight of students from a public university. We were fortunate that it was during low tide or they could have been swept to sea." Ahmad Pishol said he had on countless times reminded the authorities about the jetty which was hardly maintained since it was built in 2010. He said the proposed maintenance fund could be channelled to the local authorities. There is also a need to deploy lifeguards at beaches, waterfalls and other popular swimming spots. "We also need to promote safety in other risky activity such as jungle trekking and hiking," he added. Ahmad Pishol suggested that marketing and promotional strategies be reviewed with the help from the private sector. "We cannot solely be dependent on Tourism Malaysia to sell our country. The private sector must also chip in too," he said. "We can engage travel operators who specialise in outbound markets, and get them to also pull in tourists from China, India, Europe and the Americas besides Australia and New Zealand."