Malaysia expects $500M from health tourism in 2024

By VNA   February 17, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Malaysia expects $500M from health tourism in 2024
Tourists pass by Malaysia's Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Jan. 28, 2020. Photo by Reuters
The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) targets 2.4 billion MYR (US$502 million) in revenue from health tourism this year.

The earnings are expected to contribute an economic spillover of about 9.6 billion MYR ($2.1 billion) to other industries, including hospitality and transport.

MHTC's CEO Dr Mohamed Ali Abu Bakar said this confidence is based on data collected up to November 2023, when the industry achieved a revenue of over 1.92 billion MYR, in addition to the federal government’s move to grant visa-free stays of up to 30 days in Malaysia to citizens from China and India, effective Dec. 1 last year.

The total amount not only exceeded the initial target for 2023, but also reached the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025 target of 2 billion MYR two years ahead of schedule.

It will also set a new record for the industry, surpassing the best pre-pandemic achievement of 1.7 billion MYR in 2019, he added.

Mohamed Ali said MHTC is optimistic that Malaysia will see more medical tourist arrivals with the visa-free entry decision, given that China and India are also among the countries contributing to the number of tourists in that category.

The implementation of this visa policy is certainly timely because many countries have relaxed the conditions for entering and exiting their countries following the transition to the endemic phase which started two years ago, he continued.

Over the past decade, Malaysia has been known as a destination for health tourists in the Asia-Pacific region. It recorded more than 1 million health tourist arrivals in 2023, rising over 15% from 2022.

Indonesia is the largest source of health tourists to Malaysia, accounting for 70 - 80% of the total number of such visitors.

Other sources include Bangladesh, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, the U.S., and the U.K.

go to top