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Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and wife Tok Puan Norzieta Zakaria greeted by the public during the launch of Discover Kedah 2016 at Dataran Menara Alor Setar. Pix by AMRAN HAMID.

ALOR STAR: Kedah is confident that it will be able to attract tourists this year in conjunction with the Discover Kedah 2016 tourism campaign despite the economic crisis and the weakening of ringgit.

Its Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir who officiated the launch of the campaign yesterday at Aman Central here said the weakening of ringgit will encourage more Malaysians to spend their holiday within the country instead of going overseas.

"Meanwhile, tourists from countries with higher value currencies compared to Malaysia will also be attracted to visit Malaysia as their money will have more value here," said Mukhriz.

Mukhriz also reminded those who service provider not to take advantage of the situation to increase the charges of their services as it may discourage tourists from coming into the state.

Mukhriz however admitted that with only a year of preparation given for Kedah to launch the visit Kedah campaign, they could not solve all issues involving the poor infrastructure at several tourist attractions in the state.

"We have also requested assistance from the federal government to help us with the infrastructure issues which we can not afford on our own.

"However I am satisfied with the overall preparation made and I believe this programme will prepare us for the next visit Kedah campaign which may be held within five or ten years from now," he said.

He also hopes that more tourists would opt to visit the state mainland this year so that more investors would have confidence to invest in building hotels in the mainland.

Kedah expects to be able to attract 5 million tourists during the campaign, consisting of 63 percent local tourists and another 37 percent foreign tourists, which will bring RM5.87 billion revenue to the state.

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