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Published on : Monday, January 11, 2016
Malaysia should try to capture a slice of the market by developing wellness tourism, according to Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin. The minister said that Malaysia’s wellness and fitness industry has the potential to become a big revenue earner for the tourism sector.
Khairy said programmes like Malaysia Urban Retreat Festival (Murfest), yoga and spiritual retreats, as well as fitness weeks, could be organised in Malaysia on a regular basis to lure tourists from all over the world who were interested in such activities.
“There’s much potential for wellness travel to be turned into a revenue-generating industry. Tourists coming to Malaysia for medical treatment can be given an opportunity to participate in wellness and fitness programmes offered by the industry players here,” he said.
Murfest 2015, held in November last year, had attracted some 5,000 local and international participants.
Citing Bali in Indonesia as an example, Khairy said the authorities there organised a yearly international yoga festival to attract visitors who were into fitness and spirituality. He said Malaysia could also come up with similar offerings as it has the infrastructure, as well as numerous tourist attractions.
Khairy, meanwhile, said his ministry would continue to grow the Fit Malaysia brand, launched in September 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.