Pulau Tuba Opens as New Eco-Tourism Destination
Known for the likes of the tough Xterra and Ironman Triathlon Races, Langkawi isalso home to South East Asia’s first Global UNESCO Geopark, over 700 species of birds and butterflies, and 99 islands. Besides the main island of Langkawi, the second largest of these islands, Pulau Tuba, is home to some 2000 inhabitants, but left largely untouched by tourists and local Langkawians. Limited motorised vehicles are allowed on the island to preserve the natural habitat, making it the perfect site to cater to the adventurous eco-tourism market.
As of April 2016, a 30-kilometer trail that spans Pulau Tuba and the neighboring Pulau Dayang Bunting, will be open for the public to explore. The trail passes through towering limestone cliffs, pristine mangrove forests, as well as untouched sections of Pulau Dayang Bunting and Pulau Tuba, previously only accessed by local inhabitants.
An inaugural 30-kilometer trail run, titled Tuba Trail Run, will be held on 2 April 2016 to launch the new trail, as well as to raise the profile of Pulau Tuba as a destination for natural immersion and exploration. Upon completion of the race, participants will also be treated to a Kenduri-style traditional lunch. Participation will be limited to 450 persons tominimise environmental impact.
A total of RM 21,000 in prize money will be awarded to winners of 6 categories: Men’s International Open, Women’sInternational Open, Men’s Local Open 18-39, Women’s Local Open 18-39, Men’s Local Veteran 40+, and Women’s Local Veteran 40+. Non-Malaysian nationals may only sign up for the international open categories.
Tan Sri Khaild Ramli, Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), is positive about the launch of the trail. “As one of the few UNESCO Geopark destinations in South East Asia, LADA is committed to protecting Langkawi’s natural heritage for future generations to enjoy. We aim to do this through education and controlled exposure to natural beauty, via exclusive events that target the eco-tourism and eco-sport market such as Tuba Trail Run,” said Tan Sri Khalid.
The organizer of the race, E-Plus Entertainment Productions, is now concluding several months of preparation work for the event. Registration for the race is already open with registration fees starting at RM160 for the Super Early Bird period.
“Tuba Trail Run involves a travel trend that is rapidly gaining popularity; a merger of sport and appreciation for nature. We are confident the warm local hospitality and beautiful scenery along the trail will show off Pulau Tuba’s best qualities to participants,” said Iskandar Shahril, Business Development Director of E-Plus Entertainment Productions.