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Eco development
Green paradise

A new eco-theme park and island resort are being built on the idyllic island of Langkawi in Malaysia, as part of the country’s bid to increase international tourism. We take a look at the early plans

By Jennifer Harbottle | Published in Attractions Management 2014 issue 1

Langkawi has long been revered for its beautiful beaches and natural wildlife, but in terms of attractions, it’s kept relatively low key. Despite being only an hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur, in terms of international visitors, it tends to lose out to the neighbouring islands of Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand – but that could be about to change with the Malaysian Government’s vision to position Langkawi as one of the top 10 tourist islands in the world by 2015.

The government-owned Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) is in charge of overseeing a number of new tourism initiatives on the island and has set itself a target of securing RM5bn (£948m, £1.5bn, E1.1bn) for private sector investments in various tourism projects over the next two years. LADA has identified two unique locations for development, and in June 2013, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between LADA and tourism and attractions developer, Pekan Artisan, granting Pekan Artisan an 80-year renewable lease on both sites to develop two separate tourism projects on the island.

Pekan Artisan, headed up by CEO Rob Wyatt, has previously worked in Malaysia on the recently opened cultural attraction, Melaka Alive! The company is now acting as the developer and masterplanner for the new US$220m (£130m, E160m) eco-tourism attraction in Langkawi.

Cultural wonder
Site one is situated on the main island and it’s here that Pekan Artisan will be developing Paradise Island Hotel & Gardens on 13 hectares (130,000 sq m) of land. The mixed-use development will include a 250-room eco-hotel, retail, restaurants, and five main attractions celebrating local culture and wildlife.

The key attraction will be ‘Langkawi Flight’, a half-dome theatre with a moving platform, which will show an immersive fly-over film of Langkawi. The attraction is being developed in conjunction with D J Willrich who are in charge of the AV integration. Guests will experience Malaysia’s natural wonders like the mangrove swamps and jungle from the eyes of different species, such as the Langkawi eagle.

Malaysia’s traditional art of Batik painting will feature in parts of the attraction, including in the cultural village where visitors will be able to watch and join in with local artisans as they craft, paint and play traditional music. Guests will also be able to watch interpretations of traditional Langkawi myths in mini theatres called ‘Myth Pods’ which will feature projection onto water curtains, using mixed media inspired by local arts like shadow puppetry (wayang), dance and marshal arts (silat).

Closer to nature
The last part of the eco-attraction will be a bio dome; an immersive walk-through attraction from sea bed to tree tops, that will allow guests to get up close and personal with Langkawi’s impressive flora and fauna.

The total experience will last three to four hours and is aimed at a regional tourist demographic. “It’s really an introduction to Langkawi, as it gives you a glimpse of everything the island has on offer, for you to choose which parts you want to discover more of,” Wyatt says.

The first phase of site one is set to open in 2015. After that’s complete, phase two will begin, including a large projection show attraction up on the mountain, based on the history of Langkawi. Additional hotels and adventure trails are also planned.

The second development on site two is on one of the islands that forms Langkawi. Currently it’s untouched, but Pekan Artisan is developing an 80-room high-end luxury boutique hotel here, named Sultan’s Summer Place. This upscale retreat is due to open in 2017 – the same time as phase two of Paradise Island Hotel & Gardens.

A bio-dome will allow visitors to get closer to Langkawi’s natural assets
Phase one of the new Malaysian eco-project opens in 2015, with phase two following in 2017
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Eco development
Green paradise

A new eco-theme park and island resort are being built on the idyllic island of Langkawi in Malaysia, as part of the country’s bid to increase international tourism. We take a look at the early plans

By Jennifer Harbottle | Published in Attractions Management 2014 issue 1

Langkawi has long been revered for its beautiful beaches and natural wildlife, but in terms of attractions, it’s kept relatively low key. Despite being only an hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur, in terms of international visitors, it tends to lose out to the neighbouring islands of Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand – but that could be about to change with the Malaysian Government’s vision to position Langkawi as one of the top 10 tourist islands in the world by 2015.

The government-owned Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) is in charge of overseeing a number of new tourism initiatives on the island and has set itself a target of securing RM5bn (£948m, £1.5bn, E1.1bn) for private sector investments in various tourism projects over the next two years. LADA has identified two unique locations for development, and in June 2013, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between LADA and tourism and attractions developer, Pekan Artisan, granting Pekan Artisan an 80-year renewable lease on both sites to develop two separate tourism projects on the island.

Pekan Artisan, headed up by CEO Rob Wyatt, has previously worked in Malaysia on the recently opened cultural attraction, Melaka Alive! The company is now acting as the developer and masterplanner for the new US$220m (£130m, E160m) eco-tourism attraction in Langkawi.

Cultural wonder
Site one is situated on the main island and it’s here that Pekan Artisan will be developing Paradise Island Hotel & Gardens on 13 hectares (130,000 sq m) of land. The mixed-use development will include a 250-room eco-hotel, retail, restaurants, and five main attractions celebrating local culture and wildlife.

The key attraction will be ‘Langkawi Flight’, a half-dome theatre with a moving platform, which will show an immersive fly-over film of Langkawi. The attraction is being developed in conjunction with D J Willrich who are in charge of the AV integration. Guests will experience Malaysia’s natural wonders like the mangrove swamps and jungle from the eyes of different species, such as the Langkawi eagle.

Malaysia’s traditional art of Batik painting will feature in parts of the attraction, including in the cultural village where visitors will be able to watch and join in with local artisans as they craft, paint and play traditional music. Guests will also be able to watch interpretations of traditional Langkawi myths in mini theatres called ‘Myth Pods’ which will feature projection onto water curtains, using mixed media inspired by local arts like shadow puppetry (wayang), dance and marshal arts (silat).

Closer to nature
The last part of the eco-attraction will be a bio dome; an immersive walk-through attraction from sea bed to tree tops, that will allow guests to get up close and personal with Langkawi’s impressive flora and fauna.

The total experience will last three to four hours and is aimed at a regional tourist demographic. “It’s really an introduction to Langkawi, as it gives you a glimpse of everything the island has on offer, for you to choose which parts you want to discover more of,” Wyatt says.

The first phase of site one is set to open in 2015. After that’s complete, phase two will begin, including a large projection show attraction up on the mountain, based on the history of Langkawi. Additional hotels and adventure trails are also planned.

The second development on site two is on one of the islands that forms Langkawi. Currently it’s untouched, but Pekan Artisan is developing an 80-room high-end luxury boutique hotel here, named Sultan’s Summer Place. This upscale retreat is due to open in 2017 – the same time as phase two of Paradise Island Hotel & Gardens.

A bio-dome will allow visitors to get closer to Langkawi’s natural assets
Phase one of the new Malaysian eco-project opens in 2015, with phase two following in 2017
 


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ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
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ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
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