Health and wellness tourism potential for Malaysia

 

Well known for medical tourism, Malaysia has not promoted health and wellness tourism as much.

Malaysia's wellness and fitness industry has the potential to become a big revenue earner for the tourism sector, according to sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He argues that Malaysia should try to capture some of the market by developing wellness tourism alongside medical tourism. This could include the Malaysia Urban Retreat Festival (Murfest), yoga and spiritual retreats, as well as fitness weeks.

Jamaluddin suggests, “There is much potential for wellness travel to be turned into a revenue generating industry. Murfest 2015 attracted 5000 local and international participants. Attaining health and well being through physical, psychological or spiritual activities have become an international trend among health-conscious people. We could have an annual international yoga festival to attract visitors who are into fitness and spirituality. Malaysia already has the tourism infrastructure

The sports ministry will continue to grow the "Fit Malaysia" brand, launched in 2014, by combining sports activities with other elements that enhance mind-body connection, similar to some of the programmes presented during the three-day Murfest. "Fit Malaysia" is a brand to encourage Malaysians to adopt healthy lifestyles and excel in sports.

Jamaluddin created Fit-Malaysia and wants it to work with Murfest to extend the physical focus to incorporate the mental aspect as well,  "We want to see fitness in a wider scope. It should not just be about physical sports, running, cardio, boxing, self-defence or cycling, but also about mind-body wellness. Fly yoga or aerial yoga, a new form of exercise that makes use of hammocks, is being considered for this year's "Fit Malaysia" event.

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