While the Ringgit continues to depreciate against the other currencies, experts have related the issue to the trend of Malaysians choosing to travel to Thailand instead of local tourist spots in Langkawi, in 2 separate articles.
Chief Executive Officer of the Langkawi Tourism Association (LTA) Zainudin Kadir shared that tourism in Langkawi had been on a decline as Malaysians prefer to travel to Thailand for their vacation.
On the other hand, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Melaka, Dr Mohamad Idham Md. Razak shared that the Ringgit’s weakness is contributed by the fact that Malaysians choose to go on vacation in Thailand instead.
“The choice is in everyone’s hands, but, from an economic point of view, we will lose because a lot of money is flowing out. Money should be ‘circulated’ within the country by encouraging more tourism activities while boosting the domestic economy,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Director of Research Management in Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Prof. Madya Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid said if the trend of Ringgit outflow continues, the situation will worsen and the Ringgit will continue to depreciate.
“If money is not spent in the country, the country’s economy will weaken. However, we cannot stop others from travelling abroad. Thus, Malaysian businesses should play a role in attracting local tourists,” he said.
Vacation in Thailand is more economical!
Despite those remarks have some truth to it, they did not sit well with netizens with many pointing out that going on a trip to Thailand feels more worthwhile as Langkawi has become too expensive of a local destination.
“If prices continue to rise, people will choose to look for more economical destinations. The experience of going to Langkawi recently shows that the cost of food is too expensive for tourists,” a netizen said.
“Things in Langkawi are so expensive! Rental cars are expensive, hotels are expensive, and restaurants are expensive. Long story short, everything is expensive. And it is supposed to be a tax-free zone,” another netizen said.
Apart from the price factor, some netizens also pointed out that Langkawi is turning pale when compared to Thailand due to lack of new tourist attraction and deteriorating facilities. Not to even mention the dirty public toilets.
While it is saddening to see our economy and tourism decline, most can’t help but agree that local tourism could not compete with exotic yet cheaper overseas destinations.
Perhaps, it is time for the authorities to look into the local vacation packages offered so that they would attract Malaysians into vacationing locally.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!