Langkawi was delighted to be the first place in Southeast Asia to receive recognition by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) as a Geopark, which we wrote about in last month’s issue. The CEO of LADA (The Langkawi Development Authority) is quoted as saying that nothing is more important to Langkawi than its Geopark status. However, it seem UNESCO is not impressed with their efforts to market the Geopark, use it to educate people, and build supporting infrastructure.
UNESCO has given officials a lengthy list of deficiencies which must be addressed, and people say now that Langkawi is at risk of losing its UNESCO Geopark status, which would be embarrassing and certainly harmful to tourism-related businesses on the island. It’s not clear that much is being done to address the problem. When we checked the official website, the quality of English was poor and it was highlighting 2012 events! When we approached LADA, the body tasked with overseeing the UNESCO Geopark, with proposals to help market the island and its Geopark to expats and overseas visitors, they told us they had no funds, which is both puzzling and concerning.
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