Investment opportunity to seize amidst the medical tourism wave in Malaysia.

1 Feb 2023

The introduction of wellness suites at The Nobel Healthcare Park captures the needs and demand for accommodation in medical tourism, simultaneously creating a new investment opportunity.

In the past, travelling abroad to developed nations for medical treatment was commonplace, as wealthy patients from developing countries would seek out healthcare options or medical treatments which were unavailable back home.

Today, people travel to and from both rich and less-developed nations to receive medical care, signifying both qualitative and quantitative shifts in patient mobility.

Malaysia has become a top choice as a world-leading destination for medical and healthcare tourism, growing in popularity in the past decade alongside Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, and India.

An integrated healthcare and wellness ecosystem

KLWC SU_Type3_Living_V5_R7

According to MHTC, accommodation is a key component in the healthcare travel ecosystem and it wants to see hotels take on a more proactive role in uplifting Malaysia’s medical tourism industry.

Healthcare travellers require an environment that is post-treatment friendly and equipped with proper infrastructure to support the needs of these patients in place. Some of the necessary features include having wheelchair-friendly access, spacious rooms and toilet facilities not just in the patient’s room but also throughout the premise. There is also the subject of having tailor-made dietary plans to meet their recovery needs.

When one seeks medical treatment, they are rarely alone and often accompanied by at least one family member. Their companions will have many needs, such as efficient transportation, comfortable lodging, food service, shopping, and tourist activities.

KL Wellness City addresses these needs through a unique township—an ecosystem that integrates five components: wellness, medical tourism, lifestyle (in the form of a healthcare hub), a property component (serviced suites, lifestyle homes, retirement homes), and an International Tertiary Hospital.

It is not surprising that it was named the Best Mixed Use Development (Asia) and Consumer Game Changer at the 17th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in December 2022.

Designed with a holistic approach to healthcare, KL Wellness City (KLWC) is set to elevate Malaysia’s status as a leading destination for medical tourism. The Nobel Healthcare Park, which consists of the medical, business, wellness and retail suites, is linked to the International Hospital @ KL Wellness City.

The state-of-the-art hospital with 624 beds—scalable to 1,000 beds—is estimated to commence operations in 2026. KL Wellness City will set new standards in sustainable development and health impacts through thoughtfully curated healthcare, living, working and recreational spaces.

A gamechanger in medical tourism – Wellness Suites

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The Nobel Healthcare Park’s Wellness Suites, whose design complies with regulations set by the local authorities and implements the Ministry of Health’s best practice guidelines, is a revolutionary concept.

There is a gap in the market when it comes to healthcare accommodation – while most hospital rooms meet a patient’s basic requirements, they lack in the areas of comfort and amenities that meet the expectation of leisure and business travellers.

Medical tourists generally require check-in assistance, meal plans for their nutritional needs, in-room support and easy access to medical providers, and not just comfort, convenience, and options for leisure activities during their stay.

An efficient room design that is versatile enough to be used as a home, an office, or a short-term stay (for step-down care and healthcare traveller accommodations) is what they need—enter The Nobel Healthcare Park’s Wellness Suites.

There are other amenities provided, such as a 50-meter lap pool, jacuzzi, sandy cove, and F&B outlets to cater to different lifestyle needs.

Hassle-free management of one’s unit is made possible through hospitality services and rental management. Owners of these Wellness Suites have the freedom to appoint any hospitality company to manage the suites or the KL Wellness City hospitality team to assist.

The suites come in 268 sq ft and 386 sq ft sizes, with a price tag that starts at RM366,000, providing investors with an excellent opportunity to enjoy double-digit high rental ROI.

A positive outlook for the future

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In the coming years, a market research company Global Wellness Institute (GWI), projected that wellness tourism will achieve a rapid annual growth of 20.9% as the world emerges from the pandemic reaching US$1.1 trillion in 2025.

As for Malaysia, while it is in competition with popular ASEAN medical tourism destinations such as Singapore and Thailand, support and incentive from the government will enable the country to soar to greater heights next year.

KL Wellness City’s The Nobel Healthcare Park’s Wellness Suites will bridge the gap in the medical tourism ecosystem with a fully integrated and interconnected township offering the best healthcare travel experience the country has to offer and contributing to continuous and sustainable industry growth.

In addition to its top-notch healthcare services, KL Wellness City also offers hospitality services to help with rental management/short-term stays for optimum investor ROI.

The boom of medical tourism

The nobel healthcare park

Medical tourism is defined as travelling out of one’s country of residence for the purpose of receiving medical care for various reasons (e.g., treatments, therapy, and health screening).

These reasons include going abroad for medical, dental, or cosmetic surgery at a lower cost than what is offered in a person’s home country; seeking out medical or surgical treatment that is unavailable back home; cutting back on the waiting time for a particular treatment; fulfilling the desire to recover in private away from extended family and friends; as well as the pursuit of travel opportunities while overseas.

According to the Malaysia Medical Tourism Market Outlook 2028, the Malaysia medical tourism market was valued at US$1.2 billion in 2020 and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2021 to 2028.

By the end of 2028, it is predicted to be valued at US$5.1 billion.

Market research and competitive intelligence provider Fact.MR reported that medical tourists from all over the world are flocking to Malaysia to take advantage of its low-cost, high-quality healthcare services.

The medical tourism sector has significant revenue-generating potential for Malaysia as patients from rich western countries are looking for high-quality, low-cost sites that provide not only medical treatments but also tourist attractions. In recent years, Malaysia has played host to patients from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China, Vietnam and Myanmar, and Indonesia, among others.

An important factor that makes Malaysia a popular medical tourism destination is the government’s unwavering support and participation in the industry and the cultivation of solid public-private healthcare collaborations.

Budget 2023 included an allocation of RM20 million to advance Malaysia as a medical tourism destination, RM90 million in grants to promote tourism activities, RM200 million to boost tourism recovery, and a suggestion for new chartered flights to and from East Asia and the Middle East.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), an agency under the country’s Ministry of Finance, is constantly intensifying its efforts in showcasing Malaysia’s healthcare capabilities and strengths by solidifying its position as the Fertility and Cardiology Hub of Asia, Cancer Care Centre of Excellence, as well as the Hepatitis C Treatment Hub of Asia.

Visit KL Wellness City’s website  for more information. 


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