Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Interest in Langkawi surges 13-fold as tourism gradually reopens

Airbnb says demand for accommodation has also increased in other popular tourist spots like Port Dickson and Melaka.

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Searches for Langkawi on online platform Airbnb have surged 13-fold month-on-month since the launch of the domestic tourism bubble in mid-September, indicating a growing interest in travel amid the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Airbnb said new data also showed a spike in domestic demand for accommodation across the country, with searches for Port Dickson increasing by over 360% and searches for Melaka up by 270%.

“Malaysians are raring to travel again and reconnect with family and friends,” it said, adding that trending destinations include Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang.

In a statement, it said more Malaysians were searching for getaways lasting a week or longer, with interest in family-friendly villas also on the rise, increasing by nearly 2.5-fold in the week of Sept 13 compared to six months ago.

“The end of the long lockdown has also spurred Malaysians to quickly plan for upcoming trips with their loved ones,” it said.

The Langkawi tourism bubble was launched on Sept 16, with MalaysiaNow previously reporting that hotels and resorts had received thousands of bookings following the government’s announcement that the island would reopen to visitors as part of plans to restart the tourism industry.

However, similar tourism bubbles planned for Pulau Tioman and Genting Highlands were put on hold until 90% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

This was in line with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement that the reopening of island resorts and tourism centres or destinations and interstate travel would only be allowed when the vaccination rate of the country’s adult population reaches 90%.

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