GEORGE TOWN: Income for the medical tourism sector in Penang has seen an encouraging increase from RM66 million in 2021 to RM285 million last year.
Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow said, the number achieved last year has not yet surpassed the number before Covid-19 hit, but the increase in medical tourists to the state is very encouraging.
“We have reached almost 50 percent of what was obtained in 2019.
“This situation is very positive for the state’s economy, it is also something to be proud of because it shows that Penang continues to be a preferred tourist destination including medical tourists,” he said.
Earlier, Kon Yeow witnessed the video launch of the Penang Medical Tourism Center (P. MED) and the signing ceremony of the Medical Tourism Protocol collaboration with PT Citilink Indonesia here today.
Also present were the Chairman of the State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee, Yeoh Soon Hin; Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia Bambang Suharto and Chief Commercial and Cargo Officer of Citilink Airlines, Ichwan F. Argus.
Kon Yeow said, according to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), from 2015 to 2019 the industry has grown at a cumulative average growth rate of 17 percent.
“In 2019, Penang received almost 480,000 medical tourists and generated an income of RM730 million.
“This means that almost 50 percent of Malaysia’s total income is from medical tourism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Soon Hin said, Penang is the main contributor in terms of income generated for medical tourism in Malaysia.
”Indonesia has always been our main market for medical tourism given the language and cultural similarities between us.
“During the first 11 months of 2022, Penang received approximately 144,975 international medical tourists of which Indonesia contributed 54 percent, followed by Bangladesh and India,” he said. – MESSENGER
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