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Malaysia's island paradise reopening stirs hope for tourism revival

Langkawi hotels cheer return of domestic visitors but COVID fears linger

A seaside restaurant prepares to reopen to domestic tourists in Langkawi, Malaysia, on Sept. 16.   © Reuters

LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- With six children in tow, Khatijah Ibrahim was soaking in the ocean breezes and picturesque scenery of Malaysia's Langkawi on Saturday.

"It's definitely a relief that we can finally step out from Kuala Lumpur to a beautiful island," said the accountant. Although she had some concerns about the trip, due to COVID-19, she said it was worth it to relieve the pandemic's mental strain. "In the last year, it has been the shuttle between work and home for me. It has been the worst for my children. So it's great to finally get some fresh air," she said.

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