ALOR STAR: Every Malaysian citizen has a role to play in promoting the local tourism industry.
Therefore, Datuk Mohd Salleh Saidin, chairman of the Kedah Tourism, Arts and Heritage Committee, advised all individuals to carefully consider the consequences of their unfavourable comments on the tourism sector and those whose livelihoods depend on it.
"I am calling for all Kedahan and Malaysians, let's work together to promote Kedah and the country to the world.
"Stop making negative statements about the tourism industry in pursuit of personal gain," he told reporters after witnessing the handing over ceremony of the Padi Museum repair works project here today.
The museum is expected to be reopened to the public by Nov 30 following the completion of the repair works which cost RM3.2 million.
Mohd Salleh, who is also the state Museum Board chairman, urged the public to get the information from those with authority in the tourism industry to get a clearer picture on the ground.
"Let us be wise. It is imperative that those in positions of authority refrain from manipulating statements in a manner that generates unfavourable publicity for our tourism industry," he said.
Mohd Salleh was commenting on the Langkawi Tourism Alliance (Lita) statement today, calling for all stakeholders to focus on efforts to revive the island's tourism industry from the devastating impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
Its spokesman Hazani Hussin was reported as saying that it was unbecoming for those who were directly involved or having interest in Langkawi tourism industry to make derogatory remarks which might create negative perception among domestic visitors and international tourists.
Hazanı was referring to the recent claim by an individual who claimed himself as representing the whole tourism players in Langkawi, alleging that the island was deserted after being shunned by visitors.
In a related development, Mohd Salleh said the state government would be launching a competition to design a logo and mascot for the Visit Kedah Year 2025 campaign.
"We will launch the competition soon. We want all Kedahans to share their ideas and views on how to further improve our tourism sector.
"Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Sanusi Md Nor himself will be giving away the prizes," he said.
Mohd Salleh added that he had also toured all the districts in Kedah to check on tourism attractions in the state ahead of the launch.
"We have identified tourism attractions that are suitable to be highlighted and upgraded as tourism products.
"We are not just talking about Langkawi, the Visit Kedah Year 2025 is about promoting all tourism attractions in Kedah including the Gunung Jerai, Sungai Batu archaeological sites
and lakes," he said.