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Medical tourism supporting Penang’s hotel sector

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): Medical tourism will continue to support the growth of Penang’s hotel property sector which could also create multiplier effects on the northern region’s economy, said CBRE|WTW Penang branch director Peh Seng Yee.

“The Penang tourism industry continues to enjoy steady growth, benefitting from medical tourism. In 2017, 60% of the visitors who visited Penang were healthcare tourists. This industry has contributed half a billion ringgit to the state,” he told the audience during his session on the “Northern region market performance and outlook” at the 12th Malaysian Property Summit 2019 today.

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The one-day conference is organised by Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), while Edgeprop.my is the event’s media partner.

According to Peh, Malaysia has been chosen as one of the top ten destinations for medical tourism globally.

The robust growth of medical tourism, he said, has resulted in the need for more hotel rooms with the average hotel occupancy rate in Penang currently around 65% to 70%.

CBRE|WTW data showed that there are 12,723 hotel rooms in total of which around 85% or 10,863 are located on Penang island.  

However, Peh expects the competition between hoteliers in Penang to become more intense going forward while occupancy rates moderate, due to rising incoming supply and more rooms being provided by Airbnb operators.

He noted that more international hotels will be entering the market in the near future including Courtyard by Marriott and Ritz Carlton Hotel.

“Besides that, medical centre operators are also eyeing opportunities in the hospitality segment and looking to offer hotel rooms as well such as Island Medical Centre and KL International Dental Centre,” said Peh.

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