Monday, July 27, 2009

Tourist Arrivals Up Last Month Despite H1N1

Although the number Influenza A(H1N1) cases continued to rise in the country, tourist arrivals last month achieve an impressive 7.5 per cent growth compared with the 0.3 per cent drop in May.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the number of tourist arrivals to Malaysia was 11.35 million last month, a 3.5 per cent increase from the 10.96 million for the corresponding period last year.

She believed that medical tourism was one sector that could bring great benefit to the country, with a projected contribution of RM540 million in 2010 with 625,000 medical tourists flowing into the country to get medical service.

This was possible for the fact that Malaysia offered a wide range of state-of-the-art private medical centres and an impressive array of sophisticated diagnostic, therapeutic and inpatient facilities.

"In addition, Malaysia is also the place to see the fusion of Eastern traditional healing methods blending with the modern sciences of the West," she said in her speech at the International Healthcare Conference and Exhibition 2009.

Her speech was delivered by the ministry's deputy secretary-general (Managment), Dr Junaida Lee Abdullah, who also launched "Patients Beyond Border" a book by Healthy Travel Media CEO and a reputable author in Medical Tourism Josef Woodman.

Dr Ng said Malaysia was also reported in the recent Deloitte Medical Tourism report 2008 to be the most preferred destination in East Asia for medical treatment.

She urged the private hospitals promoting medical tourism to work closely with tourism operators to capitalise on every opportunity available to promote Malaysia's natural and multi-cultural attractions.

On the book, she said it was the first comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide to medical tourism for Malaysia and was published with the collaboration and support of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) and Tourism Malaysia.

Source : Bernama
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