School of Hospitality Co-organised and Hosted the 2nd International Conference of Health-Oriented Tourism & Hospitality (ICoHOTH)

Together with University of the Sunshine Coast and Sunway Medical Centre, the School of Hospitality Sunway University co-organised and hosted a three-day conference at Sunway University. The conference hosted guests from various international locations, such as Japan, South Korea, China, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Hungary, South Africa and Malaysia.

Dr Timothy Lee the Chief Organiser and Chair of the Organising Committee of the 2nd ICoHOTH mentioned, “The intention is so that individuals from academia, industry government and NGOs in the fields of tourism and hospitality can exchange and develop research and industrial case studies”. Apart from interesting research presentation by the conference delegates, the conference also included many informative talks and presentations. The keynote speakers, Prof Dr Ghazali Musa (Universiti Malaya, Malaysia), Dr Jia Xiao Fang (China International Health and Medical Tourism Association, China) and Dr Laszlo Puczko (Resources Leisure Assets, Austria) were some of the top people in the field of health tourism internationally. Special guests, Ms Sherene Azli and Mr Fabian Bigar from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and Ministry of Health (MOH) respectively, presented on medical and health-oriented tourism from the government and public sector point of view. Professor Perry Hobson, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University also gave a presentation on “Envisaging the Future of Health-based Tourism”.

This international conference was also sponsored by Sunway Medical Centre, which has been crowned as the Medical Tourism Hospital of the Year in Asia Pacific 2018 and 2019. The delegates also had the opportunity to visit Sunway Medical Centre and the healthcare services and equipment provided to its medical tourists. Ms Faith Tang Pui See, Head of International Business (East Asia) of Sunway Medical Centre mentioned that “Sunday Medical Centre exemplifies the nature of medical tourism by providing holistic care to foreign patients under one roof with our comprehensive medical and surgical services coupled with state of the art technology. We are glad the foreign delegates enjoy the hospital tour and some of them have asked for assistance for second opinion and health screening. We are privileged to be part of what Malaysia has to offer for medical tourism.”

The conference committee are also honoured to have Dato Dr Lee Weng Keng (Chief Executive Officer of the Education and Healthcare Divisions of the Sunway Group), Mr Choy Wah Wei (Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Medical), Prof Perry Hobson (Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Sunway University), Prof Peter Heard (Provost – Sunway University), and Prof Hew Gill (Associate Provost – Sunway University) at the opening ceremony, where Dato Dr Lee Weng Keng and Mr Choy Wah Wei gave welcome speeches to all conference delegates. It was definitely a proud moment for all Sunwayians to be able to witness Sunway University and Sunway Medical Centre put in efforts to organise this conference.

During the awards ceremony at the gala dinner, it was a proud moment for Sunwayians where two out of the three certificate of best paper was attained by Dr Kamelia Chaichi (School of Hospitality) and Dr Sally Anne (AUSMAT).

Professor Marcus Lee Stephenson, Dean of the School of Hospitality at Sunway University, which hosted the event, noted: “The conference was a real success. The level of discussion, critique and analysis was all there to see – all focussing on an area of research that is becoming very topical and significant. Yes, health-related tourism has great potential to develop even further and in the context of its advancement in Malaysia its future is highly positive. The School of Hospitality was keen to engage with Sunway Medical because of its strong reputation in pursuing medical tourism growth.”