1. What inspired you to create your business?
This business was contrived by its founder and Chairman Dr Ravi Ponniah who feels that Langkawi – although an island – is hardly recognised as “the gateway” to Malaysia as Phuket is to Thailand and Bali is to Indonesia. Hence, with all its available and able infrastructure and assets, Naam Sdn Bhd and its three subsidiaries Naam Cruise, Naam Sports and Naam World Travel and Tours had set up its operations on the island 4 years ago and with its fleet of over 120 vessels, jet skis, jet boats and luxury boats and now offers leisure and watersports activities for all inbound tourists and are working together with 5-star resorts to promote luxury watersports which is fully insured and licensed in Langkawi in keeping with its status at Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark.
2. How does being responsible help your business attract potential customers?
Naam’s fleet of vessels and jet skis are all eco-friendly and does not affect the marine eco-system and sea/coastal environment. On top of that, the company believes in its Corporate Social Responsibily (CSR) by supporting all environmental projects like sea/river cleansing and mangrove-planting to curb erosion projects, providing its eco-friendly equipment and vessels for all environmental projects by the local authorities and industry players and providing support and assistance for governmental projects which can improve the environment. As we are aware, international tourists are inspired by holiday resorts which enhance and value-add to its surrounding environments.
3. How do you engage guests in your responsible tourism activities?
We support 5-star resorts in their respective environmental projects and we help promote activities such as beach cleaning, coral rejuvenation and restoration projects, mangrove planting activities, and island cleaning projects to our guests in collaboration with these resorts.
4. What is the responsible tourism initiative of which you are most proud?
Providing a range of leisure and watersports activities for Langkawi, which is fully-licensed and fully-insured for the safety of all inbound guests who use our tours, facilities and activities.
5. What positive impacts does your tourism business have on the community/environment where you are based?
Naam is a fully-responsible company which offers fully-insured and fully-licensed leisure and water sports activities using eco-friendly equipment and vessels. Its staff and team are fully responsible and highly-trained to deal with any emergency when and where there is a need. In this context, Naam is working hand in hand with the Government of Malaysia to promote Responsible Tourism.
6. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
Collaborating with other industry players and front liners like taxi drivers who are the “eyes and ears” for all key tourism players like Naam.
7. What advice would you give to any entrepreneur starting a responsible tourism business
Profit isn’t everything. Be responsible by having your tours and activities fully-licensed and fully insured. Remember that safety is very important for every guest that participate in these activities.