LANGKAWI: A Penang-based restaurateur plans to take Langkawi’s tourism product values to the next higher level via a temperate flower garden project at the Langkawi Wildlife Park (LWP) here. The park’s group managing director, Datuk Richard Long, who also owns Feringghi Restaurant in Penang plans to utilise his expertise in handling perishable materials to start off the project with an initial investment of about RM15 million.
“We will have cold weather flowers like in Holland grown in this four-acre (about 1.62 hectare) garden, which I expect can be completed before December this year,” he said when met here yesterday. He said works on the project had been progressing very well after taking off over the last couple of months to prepare the nursery for at least 120 varieties of flowers, which would be replaced every three months.
“This would be like following the four season cycle, where we would create a climate controlled glass house to promote the growth of the flowers to give a different experience for visitors every three months,” he said.
In addition, Long said the expansion project undertaken at LWP would also include developing an acre of land for the plantation of organic vegetables as well as to build a new international-class restaurant.
He said the organic vegetables plantation would be the first of its kind to be started in a commercial scale on this island and initiated as a move to solve the issue of sourcing for fresh vegetables here. “Apart from vegetables, we will also try growing mushrooms at the park and the harvest would also be supplied to our proposed international restaurant, to prepare fresh salads and other foods for the guests,” he added.
The expansion project would mark a significant milestone for the multiple award winning park which has been in operation on the island since 2002 and was listed by renowned travel website, TripAdvisor, as among the top 20 zoos in Asia.
“We want to create additional values to the park, not just as being a zoo but also as a beautiful flower garden with an international class restaurant to be visited by tourists coming to Langkawi,” he added. – BERNAMA