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(File pic) Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (center) said the country has abundant scenic sea shores that could be used as ports for cruise ships. (BERNAMA)

LANGKAWI: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is stepping up efforts to develop cruise-based tourism products that have potentials to boost the country’s revenue.

Its deputy minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the country has abundant scenic sea shores that could be used as ports for cruise ships.

“Langkawi tour operators have the potentials to explore and take part more actively in the cruise tourism segment that is gaining popularity.

“In fact, the efforts are underway with the selection of the island (Langkawi) as home port for cruise ship operator Tui Group,” he said in speech text read by Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general Datuk Abdul Khani Daud at a gotong-royong to clean up Sungai Kilim, here, today.

On the cruise operation in Langkawi, Muhammad Bakhtiar said the new tourism product would be start operation in December with two luxury cruise ships.

“Some 7,200 tourists from the United Kingdom and Europe are expected to fly to Langkawi and board the cruise ships that have been given the permission to operate (here).

“The selection of the island by the Europe’s biggest tour agency further affirmed the domestic tourism potentials and at the same time boost Langkawi’s image globally,” he said.

Also present were Langkawi Development Board (Lada) chief executive officer Datuk Azizan Noordin and Kampung Kilim Langkawi Bhd Community Cooperative (KKKKLB) chairman Kasa Harun.

Some 300 people from both the public and private sectors, as well as non-government organisations (NGOs) and cooperative members participated in the gotong-royong.

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