EDITOR: Since the beautiful renovation has been successfully completed at RLYC, how do you differentiate the disciplines of running three distinctive departments, yacht club and marina, hospitality and hotel and, last but not least, the new retail outlets?
TK: The disciplines are not really that much apart from each other they all aim to give our patrons maximum statisfaction and make them happy. The Yacht club and marina are well established and, with the addition of the Langkawi Yacht Club Hotel and Fisherman’s Wharf Langkawi, we have elevated our operations to a new level. Often the different disciplines are overlapping a yacht owner may stay in our hotel for a few days and also enjoy the new facilities on Fisherman’s Wharf.
EDITOR: Is managing the yacht club easier because it has been operating for several years – or more challenging because of the massive expansion?
TK: The old yacht club was a much smaller operation. There are much larger challenges now, but if you love your job no challenge is too big and I have a good team with me which is a real advantage in lifting the yacht club to the next higher level.
EDITOR: Is running the annual ROYAL LANGKAWI INTERNATIONAL REGATTA a big part of your role?
TK: The Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR), although only taking place for five days each January for the past 14 years, requires a lot of planning and work for about eight months each year. It has grown into being the premier regatta in the region and certainly plays a big role in promoting sailing it also promotes Langkawi and RLYC as premier nautical holiday destinations. It has extensive media coverage worldwide and as such is an important event for RLYC.
EDITOR: What do you look for in good staff? Is staffing a challenge in Langkawi?
TK: Good staff for me must be honest, self-motivated, take responsibility for his/her work and be a good team player. An operation like we have now requires an eff ective team eff ort across many tasks. Indeed, getting good qualifi ed staff in Langkawi is an issue as the local population is less than 100,000 and, with more than four million tourist arrivals, almost everybody on the island is somehow involved in the hospitality industry. Our employees motto is ,“We are gentle people serving gentle people”. The people who work for RLYC are our most valued resource as such, if we serve our people with trust, honesty, respect, integrity and committment we will nurture the right values in each of our staff – which in turn will make them care equally about our guests.
EDITOR: Do you feel it’s important for the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club to expand beyond a marina with boats?
TK: It’s very important! That’s exactly why we’ve had our massive re-development and have now, besides our award-winning marina which now off ers 250 berths for yachts of which six are for super yachts up to 80m, also a Yacht Club Hotel as well as Fisherman’s Wharf – which will be a new tourist destination on the island, featuring a variety of shops and new dining options and will also have offi ces of many of the charter companies in Langkawi. This way RLYC will not only appeal to a relatively small number of sailors and yacht owners, but to all tourists visiting the island.
EDITOR: Is the expansion in step with what’s happening in Langkawi now?
TK: Yes, indeed it’s in line with the plan to further promote Langkawi for nautical tourism, especially the area where RLYC is located. Right next to us there are several luxury hotels, with more planned, to promote and turn this area into a new small ‘Monaco’ of the East to bring more high spending tourists to the island.
EDITOR: Are you making Langkawi your home?
TK: I consider Langkawi my home-away-from-home as it’s certainly a beautiful place to live.
ROYAL LANGKAWI YACHT CLUB
Jalan Dato Syed Omar
07000 Kuah, Langkawi
Kedah Darul Aman,Malaysia