Publish Time：2022-11-14 16:23:36Source：Travel Weekly UK
【Introduction】：Malaysia is urging the trade to include healthcare options as part of their holiday packages to the destination.
Malaysia is urging the trade to include healthcare options as part of their holiday packages to the destination.
Government agency Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council made the plea to tour operators, agents and airlines in a bid to promote the destination for medical tourism as well as leisure.
Chief executive Mohd Daud Mohd Arif said he hoped to sign up 10 tour operators interested in working with the agency during his visit to World Travel Market this week.
He said: "We are talking to many tour operators to see who is interested in adding value to their tours by offering preventative medical care and wellness and there are several key players which want to come on board."
He is hoping to encourage more trade partners to contact the agency. "We want to call on operators and airlines who want to partner with us. We are more than happy to guide them and have meaningful partnerships," he added.
Medical treatment is available at a substantially lower cost and is good quality and easily accessible in Malaysia, he said.
The agency has pledged to "hand hold" operators and talk them through the process and the revenue potential available for care, initially likely to include general medical screenings, eye and dental check-ups or fertility treatment at private hospitals in destination.
"We want to get operators signed up and then we will have online briefing sessions on what they need to know to sell medical services and link them to private hospitals so they can work out a revenue sharing arrangement so it’s a win-win for the hospital and the operator or agency."
He admitted it was a challenge to encourage operators to add the new healthcare element to traditional leisure-only packages. "It’s easier to sell destinations and experiences as compared to medical care so that’s where we come: we are the bridge between the two players."
He added: "There is a lot more we need to do when it comes to the travel industry; we need to get the word out.
"We want people to know what we can offer at what price. We want to build the confidence for people to travel here and seek treatment and ensure people know we have a lot to offer."
Pre-COVID the UK was already in the top five international markets coming to the destination for healthcare purposes.
The destination is promoting itself as affordable, good quality and easily accessible for healthcare and offering a "smooth" process of travel and care in private hospitals.
In 2019, 1.2 million medical tourists visited Malaysia while 26 million visited for leisure purposes. The destination is well known in particular for its cardiology, oncology, orthopaedic and fertility treatments.
The destination is confident of reaching pre-pandemic patient visitor levels by 2024 "if not sooner".