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Medical Tourism Experience: Conceptualization, Scale Development, And Validation

Tathagata Ghosh, Santanu Mandal

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While travel for physical well-being has long been a practice, medical tourism is an emerging phenomenon characterized by medical care combined with holiday-making activities. The medical tourism industry has rapidly grown due to exponential growth in the number of medical tourists worldwide. Despite this upsurge in practice, less research attention has been devoted to exploring the experience and perceptions of medical tourists toward the wide range of services available to them at medical destinations. This article conceptualizes a construct called “medical tourism experience” and develops a scale that measures it. A rigorous scale development procedure is employed, and four studies are conducted. Seven dimensions of this construct are explored, namely, treatment quality, medical service quality, medical tourism expense, medical tourism infrastructure, destination appeal, destination culture, and ease of access. The results reveal considerable opportunity for marketers and policy makers to increase the attractiveness of medical destinations and gain sustainable competitive advantages.