Visit Melaka 2024: Promote medical tourism, urges MAH


Malaysian Hotel Association of Hotels (MAH) Melaka chapter chairman Khairulnizam Kasim.

MELAKA: Tourism players in the state are hoping that the state government engages them in a bid to turn the medical sector into a niche travel market during Visit Melaka Year (TMM 2024).

Malaysian Hotel Association of Hotels (MAH) Melaka chapter chairman Khairulnizam Kasim said the state could promote medical and wellness tourism as its main product for TMM 2024.

"The state will significantly benefit from medical tourism with competitive pricing and quality medical treatment," he said.

"However, the stakeholders in the state's tourism promotion board should engage those in the related industry, private hospitals and media to boost this sector," added Khairulnizam in an interview on Sunday (July 30).

Khairulnizam said that no effort was made to engage the relevant players to promote medical tourism in the state.

"There is a need for us to sit and talk to turn TMM 2024 into a success as well as encourage the growth of the medical tourism industry and private hospitals," he said.

Khairulnizam said among the treatments that could be promoted were health screenings, cardiology, orthopaedics, neurology, oncology and in-vitro fertilisation.

"Local hotels will benefit from the influx of higher-end tourists while generating steady income for the state," he said.

Chairman of Friends of Melaka Museums Shaukani Abbas also echoed the same sentiment.

He said the state government should talk to tourist guides in the state to promote medical tourism as a healing package for those seeking treatment in the state.

"We can enhance this industry through collaborations with various stakeholders to create value for the entire medical tourism ecosystem," he said.

Shaukani said family members accompanying overseas patients could be offered sightseeing packages so that their trip here would be meaningful.

"There is a need for the state government to meet the tourism players to discuss key touchpoints and brand cohesiveness of medical tourism to be promoted as an integral part of TMM 2024," he said.

Meanwhile, Melaka Tourism Association (MTA) president Madelina Kuah Wey Lee said the state needs to look beyond Indonesia to boost medical tourism.

She said stakeholders must meet with tourism players in the state to make TMM 2024 more visible and attractive.

"We have the experience and we are willing to share our expertise to make TMM 2024 a huge success," she said.

Kuah said medical tourism would also increase the occupancy rate at hotels here.

"The proper yardstick to measure the success of TMM 2024 is linked to the number of days of hotel stays. The desirable number is a minimum of three nights.

"That's why there is a need for discussion between various parties in the industry and the state government to achieve the desired number of tourist arrivals," she said.

Kuah added that medical tourism could help to increase longer hotel stays here.

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