Document Type: Original Article
Department of Health Services Management, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran
Hospital Administration Research Center, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran
Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Introduction: It is predicted that tourism will be the most profitable industry in the world in 2020. The current study aimed to evaluate the influence of advertising on attracting foreign medical tourists based on the marketing mix model.
Methods: In this descriptive study, participants (n=136) completed a standard questionnaire containing items on demographic characteristics and advertising practices adopted by Mashhad hospitals (13 hospitals) to attract Arabic tourists (male-female) from seven nations in the period from March 2015 to August 2016. Data description was performed using charts and tables. The software used was spss21.
Results: The results showed that 44.1% of medical tourists were satisfied with advertising practices. In terms of education, 85 (62.8%) tourists did not have a high school diploma. Seventy-six subjects (55.9%) were referred to hospitals by friends and acquaintances, 38.2% were referred by their physicians, and only 5.9% of tourists were attracted by other advertising methods.
Conclusions: According to the results, most patients did not consider advertising strategies effective, and the advertising methods seemed to be unsuccessful in attracting people with a higher education. Therefore, it is suggested that advertising practices be revised and novel methods be adopted to appeal to a greater range of potential tourists.