Health Tourism and Government Supports

Mohammadjavad Shabankareh, Alireza Nazarian, Mohammad Hassan Golestaneh, Fereshteh Dalouchi 

International Journal of Emerging Markets

Abstract

Purpose

Health tourism is a relatively new branch of international tourism that has developed more rapidly than other tourism sectors in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the effect of government supports on health tourism development by considering the mediating role of internal and external infrastructures.

Design/methodology/approach

The study population consisted of all experts of two hospitals in Iran, which are frequently visited by foreign tourists (N = 151). A questionnaire, developed by combining standard and researcher-made questionnaires, was used to collect the data. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) model was developed in SmartPLS 3 to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The main hypothesis test results indicated that government supports positively affect the development of health tourism. Internal and external infrastructures were also found to mediate the relationship between government supports and health tourism development. In addition, the sub-hypothesis test results showed that internal and external infrastructures are positively affected by government supports, which puts forth the development of health tourism. As the results explained, the most important aspects of internal infrastructures affected by government support were health service quality, cost of health services and applying advanced medical technologies, respectively. Also, different aspects of external infrastructures affected by government supports are as follows: economic, infrastructures and cultural factors.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind to examine the impact of both medical and non-medical factors on health tourism and signifies the crucial role of governments in the development of health tourism.

Keywords

Citation

Shabankareh, M.Nazarian, A.Golestaneh, M.H. and Dalouchi, F. (2023), “Health tourism and government supports”, International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-03-2022-0391

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