Both sexy and affordable, at least according to Travel and Leisure magazine, is Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands off of Malaysia’s north-western coast. The publication included the Asian destination in a recent round, calling it a ‘nature-lover’s paradise, swathed in mangrove and tropical rain forests.’
And, according to a recent Forbes magazine article, this kind of press is exactly the reason why foreign investors and developers are currently eyeing Malaysia as a place with enormous tourism potential. Global hotel giants such as Mandarin Oriental, Nikko and the Hilton have already made their presence felt in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, while the Hyatt and Four Seasons are soon to follow, with their own Malaysia-based projects in the works. Forbes also reports that in just over 10 years, the number of visitors to the small Southeast Asian nation has tripled; the income from the industry accounts now for over 12 percent of its GDP, making tourism its second highest national revenue source.
Famed travel guide Lonely Planet describes Malaysia as a country of ‘space-age high-rises’ contrasting with ‘smiling longhouse villages’ and ‘calm, powdery beaches,’ adding that we mustn’t forget it also has some of the ‘best assortments of delicious cuisines in the world.’
And iExplore touts it as a rising ‘star’ of the region’s tourism, ‘a nation looking to the future while cherishing the ways of the past,’ and reminds us that Malaysia is certainly a place of many diverse and interesting offerings from orangutans to the oldest rainforest in the world to ‘majestic mosques and temples.’
Meanwhile Conde Nast’s Traveler gets straight to the point, crowning Malaysia as the No.1 most popular travel destination in Asia.
Picturesque beaches, lots of good food and affordable prices – sounds great. The one thing I won’t vouch for is the level of sexy though — I’d say that’s something that’s a little more subjective.