Tourists Interest On Langkawi Skycab Still Popular Despite February Setback

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By Hamdan Ismail
LANGKAWI, June 12 (Bernama) -- More tourists are expected to ride on the Langkawi SkyCab, a cable car system operated by Panorama Langkawi Sdn Bhd here this year, despite an incident when the system stalled last February.

Panorama Langkawi director, Azizan Noordin said the cable car ride which has become a tourist attraction in the island over the last 15 years, is targeted to receive 1.5 million riders, against 1.2 million recorded last year.

“Based on the number of tourists who came after the incident last February, it appears that there have not been any negative impact and tourists have not been deterred from taking the ride,” he said when met after a breaking-of-fast ceremony organised by Panorama Langkawi Monday night.

In the incident on Feb 18, a total of 1,048 tourists and 78 staff were stranded at the top of the mountain as well as inside the cable cars, after a faulty bearing caused the system to break down. However, all the victims were brought to safely after about seven hours.

He said since the incident, in addition to replacing the faulty parts and cables, thorough maintenance was carried out by the system supplier, Doppelmayr Garaventa Group from Austria.

According to Azizan, who is also the chief executive officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the parent body to Panorama Langkawi, additional safety features such as telecommunication facilities and safety signage in various languages have also been included.

He said even a day after the incident, about 6,000 people were registered to ride on the cable cars and the figures had continued to be within the same range over the next few months.

“We are also planning to bring in an amusement system as additional attraction to the cable car ride and we will continue to upgrade it to meet the highest safety standards,” he said.

Being a product that had attracted the largest bulk of tourists to Langkawi over the last couple of years, he said the Langkawi SkyCab would continue to become the yardstick to gauge tourists interest and to spearhead the promotion of other products in the island.

“Last year, foreign tourists from China, India and the Middle-Eastern countries contributed to 60 per cent of the ridership. We aim to increase this to 70 per cent this year through our continuous promotions,” he said.