MTMA2021 eyes the next Journalist of the Year

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KUALA LUMPUR, 24 March 2021 – After a stunning virtual event debut in December 2020, the Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2021 is expected to see increased participation from local and international media.

“We were very excited to venture into a virtual event at MTMA2020. I believe that despite 2020 being a year of many unprecedented events that introduced many restrictions and new norms to prioritise safety, our first ever virtual award event was a roaring success!” said Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Yazmin Azman.

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Yazmin Azman

“We received almost 400 submissions from more than (10) countries and gave away almost RM80,000.00 in cash prizes and lucky-draw giveaways,” she added.

After the encouraging response last year, MHTC expects to receive even more submissions from online, print and broadcast organisations for MTMA2021. After much consideration, we are pleased to announce that MTMA2021 returns this year with a new category – Best Medical Travel Influencer (Local and International) where influencers, bloggers and freelance journalists can participate in MTMA. New developments to the awards will be duly updated in the website, Yazmin said.

The MTMA was first launched in 2018 to recognise and reward excellence in journalism on both the local and international media scenes, particularly on the Malaysian medical travel industry.

Among MTMA2020’s winners were Paul Bradbury from Total Croatia News who bagged the Medical Travel Journalist of The Year title in the International category, while the Star Media Group’s Christina Chin and Yuen Meikeng won in the local category. The Star’s team also won the Best Online Feature Malaysia while Neang Sopheap from The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia bagged the prize for the International category.

MTMA is marked as the first global media award that lauds the work and contributions of journalists, especially medical travel industry reports. These reports include those that have an impact on the industry’s earnings, as well as those that strengthen Malaysia Healthcare’s profile, globally. Malaysia’s consistent standing as one of the leading destinations for healthcare has set us in the right path towards becoming the hub for cardiology and fertility, specifically, IVF.

“Malaysia’s extensive history and accomplishments in healthcare travel excellence have made the industry one of the nation’s fastest growing export services. This performance also stems from the continuous support from print, online and broadcast media. The MTMA is our way of supporting the media and ultimately recognising the best in medical travel journalism,” Yazmin added.

Last September, Malaysia reclaimed the title of Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year award at the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Medical Travel Awards 2020 virtual ceremony in London, making it the country’s fourth win.

“Winning it further spurs us in working with the government to generate strategic and innovative measures to boost the development of medical travel. Due to the pandemic, Malaysia’s tourism industry endured losses of some RM100 billion last year but with last December’s launch of the National Tourism Policy (DPN) 2020-2030, we can be optimistic of a slow but steady recovery,” she added.

MHTC is very optimistic that the third installation of the awards, will gain even more traction, especially from the region. “Taking this into account, MTMA2021 will feature six awards for international media in addition to separate categories for the Malaysian media,” Yazmin said.

Media organisations should check the website for the latest developments on the awards, especially in the new categories to vie for, she added. Entries for MTMA2021 must be dated between 21st October 2020 and 30th September 2021. The deadline for all submissions is on 8th October 2021. All entries will be reviewed by a panel of local and international media experts to determine the deserving winners. For more information on MTMA2021, visit https://www.mhtc.org.my/mtma/.