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Malaysia's first foreign tourism bubble opens with limited buzz

Langkawi hoteliers report subdued demand as globetrotters await wider reopening

Langkawi ahead of its domestic tourism reopening in September: The island destination is now open to fully vaccinated international travelers.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's island resort bubble for foreign tourists opened on a subdued note Monday, with hoteliers seeing little pent-up demand.

The opening of Langkawi, a scenic backdrop for popular movies like "Crazy Rich Asians," marks the country's tentative step back into the coronavirus-stalled international tourism market. The duty-free island is now accessible to fully vaccinated visitors from almost all countries -- a first since Malaysia closed its borders in March 2020.

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