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AirAsia and Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council to push Penang as healthcare tourism hub

AirAsia Indonesia and Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) have partnered to jointly promote Penang as Malaysia’s top healthcare tourism destination, with AirAsia as the preferred airline for direct connectivity.

MHTC will offer services to arrange medical tourism trips including doctor and hospital appointments, as well as airport pick-up services, for those flying AirAsia from Indonesia to Penang for medical treatment. AirAsia will offer exclusive flight discounts to MHTC customers, and AirAsia guests with prearranged appointments made through MHTC will also enjoy additional benefits at participating hospitals. This includes up to 20% discount at selected F&B outlets and on medical check-up and non-medial bills by showing their boarding pass.

In a statement to A+M, AirAsia’s spokesperson said the partnership is not an exclusive one. The airline will promote the partnership via its “Hot Boarding Pass” microsite, which will feature a dedicated medical tab slated to go live this week, as well as its social media channels and the Indonesian version of its travel360 inflight magazine.

Meanwhile, MHTC will also use social media to raise awareness about the partnership and launch promotions. AirAsia’s spokesperson declined to reveal the monetary value of the partnership.

AirAsia Indonesia CEO Dendy Kurniawan said Penang is the destination of choice for Indonesians seeking top quality medical care, and the airline hopes to see the market grow even more through this cooperation.

MHTC CEO Sherene Azli added that Penang receives around 60% of Malaysia’s healthcare travellers and in 2017 alone, the state’s healthcare travel industry generated approximately half a billion ringgit in revenue.

“Such initiatives will only increase the potential of the state to cater to more healthcare travellers from Indonesia who have discovered Penang to be their preferred destination for healthcare,” Sherene added.

The Ministry of Finance recently said that it expects a notable increase in the number of healthcare travellers to Malaysia to two million by 2020, an increase from the current one million. This is after the tax exemption from medical bills, Bernama reported. According to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah, Malaysia garnered RM1.3 billion in medical traveller revenue in 2017 and the government hopes to increase the figure to RM2.8 bill by 2020.

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