A Progressive Multilevel Model for Selecting Medical Tourism Destinations: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Marketing Management Department, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Tourism Management Department, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

3 Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: The overall objective of this study was to design a progressive multilevel model using the Delphi method for selecting a medical tourism destination which includes three levels of decision making: the destination country, then the destination city, and finally, the healthcare center in the selected city. This model can be used as a new area of research for further planning in Iran’s growing medical tourism industry.
Methods: This study is a descriptive, practical research using a qualitative approach. In the preliminary stage, an extensive review of the literature was performed, and the Delphi method was used to identify factors influencing the selection of Iran as a medical tourism destination. Experts participating in the Delphi panel reached consensuses after applying three rounds. Analysis of the data from the Delphi panel resulted in the construction of a multilevel model for selecting a medical tourism destination.
Results: The outcome of this research was a constructed multilevel model for selecting a medical tourism destination. The model indicates all factors influencing the selection of each level of destination. It also includes two stages of decision making (medical tourism and information search), which come before the selection of three levels of destination.
Conclusion: Iran’s political and economic situations after the imposition of sanctions and its problems in providing banking services for medical tourists are among the factors influencing medical tourists not to choose Iran as their destination. Government support, planned promotional activities, and JCI accreditations could increase the attraction of medical tourists to Iran.    


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