Identifying factors affecting destination choice of medical tourists: a systematic review of literature
Objective: Overseas travels in which improved health is the main component, “medical tourism”, has emerged as a new source of competitive advantage all over the world. The present study seeks to identify the factors that affect destination choice of medical tourists.
Methods: We systematically searched relevant databases including Pub Med, Embase, Science Direct, Web of Science and Medline databases using terms “medical tourism” OR “health tourism”.Studies were identified and screened in accordance with the preferred Reporting Items for Systematic and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) published in English or Farsi, determining factors that develop country’s ability to become a preferred destination for outbound patients seeking healthcare services in foreign countries.
Results: The search retrieved (1374) citation of which 18 studies were eligible.Across the eligible articles, 13 overarching themes including 75 that encourage medical tourists to choose a specific destination sub-themesemerged.
Conclusions: Results of this study offer evidence for a comprehensive approach to strategic outreach and market expansion for medical tourism decision makers for attracting more medical tourists to their countries.
Keywords: Medical tourism, health tourism, attractive factors, destination choice