Marketing and Social Influences, Hospital Branding, and Medical Tourists’ Behavioural Intention: Before- and After-Service Consumption Perspective

Tat-Huei ChamYet-Mee LimMarianna Sigala


The international growth of medical tourism requires hospital operators to adopt effective marketing practices to ensure survival and competitiveness. Although there is a burgeoning research on medical tourism, there is still limited knowledge about the roles of brand image and brand trust on medical tourists within the healthcare service context. This study investigates the influence of advertisements and social media communication on the hospital brand image and brand trust formation before consumption stage, and their impacts on medical tourists’ perceptions and attitudes at the post-consumption stage in relation to service quality, satisfaction, and behavioural intention. Data was collected from 294 Chinese medical tourists and a structural equation modelling technique was used for testing the hypotheses. The findings revealed that advertisements and social media communication positively influence medical tourists’ perception of hospital brand image, which influences their trust towards the hospital’s brand. It was also found that medical tourists’ perceived value and trust towards the medical staff mediates the relationship between their perceived service quality and satisfaction. Overall, the study contributes to the literature by providing evidence and understanding on hospital branding formation and its influence on the perceptions and attitudes of medical tourists before and after the consumption of the healthcare service.

Keywords: Advertisement, behavioural intention, brand image, patient satisfaction, perceived trust, perceived value, service quality, social media, word-of-mouth

To cite this article: Cham, T. H., Lim, Y. M., & Sigala, M. (2022). Marketing and social influences, hospital branding, and medical tourists’ behavioural intention: Before‐and after‐service consumption perspective. International Journal of Tourism Research, 24(1), 140-157.

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