Determinants of Medical Tourism Expansion in Iran: Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Economic Development and Planning, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Economic Research Institute, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Abstract

Health tourism is a profitable and competitive industry, which includes both medical and wellness tourism. This research intends to identify and analyze the determinants of medical tourism expansion in Iran. To this end, first, 384 questionnaires were distributed among medical tourists visiting selected private hospitals in Tehran, and medical tourism experts in both private and public sectors in 2017. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The price level had the greatest impact on attracting the medical tourists in 2017. The service and therapeutic capacities, and the characteristics of the destination ranked second and third, respectively. Marketing and public sector policy-making had positive but relatively small effects on attracting medical tourists to Iran. To compete with rival countries in attracting medical tourists, surgical operations should be presented efficiently. Private hospitals have to maintain their equipment and technology at the same level as those in the advanced countries. Furthermore, public and private sectors should spend more on advertising and marketing. Finally, in attracting more medical tourists, the role of public policy should be considered seriously.

Keywords


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