Until 1987 Langkawi, a drooping part of Malaysia, attracted no tourists. With the sole intention to promote tourism the island was granted a tax-free status. Government has come up with special developments to promote tourism industry in Langkawi. Tourists are also requested not to bring any cars or vehicles so as to save the city from pollution and thereby making it a green tourist destination.
An agro-based economy of padi and rubber cultivation and fisheries is fast being overtaken by a tourism-driven economy, taking into consideration the natural, unspoiled, ecological beauty of the island and major governmental emphasis
The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development program is a Malaysia Government initiative to accelerate economic growth in the north of Peninsular Malaysia – encompassing the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the north of Perak.
To enhance Langkawi’s position as a world-class tourist destination,the NCER is working to attract further world-class hotels and holiday resorts to the island.
The target for NCER is to achieve increased tourism receipts per visitor from MYR1,890 (US$600) in 2005 to MYR3,034 (US$963) by 2012.
Annual tourist expenditure is targeted to increase from MYR9.0 billion (US$2.86 billion) in 2005 to MYR21.8 billion (US$6.9 billion) in 2012 and MYR64.5 billion (US$20.4 billion) in 2020