Background & aim
Health tourism is an organized travel to maintain, improve and re-access physical and mental health. Health tourism helps to sustainable development and economic motivation of the country. The aim of this study was to investigate the affecting factors to choose Iran as a destination to receive medical services from the viewpoint of Azerbaijani tourists
Semi-structured interviews were conducted on ten Azerbaijani tourists in a combined study with qualitative sections. The collected data were analyzed using content analysis to identify and classify the effective variables on tourists' attraction. Based on the results of the qualitative step and reviewing the literature, a questionnaire was designed using the Lickert scale. The questionnaires were completed by 213 tourists and the affecting factors were ranked based on their impact coefficient. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics including frequency, average, and standard deviation, using SPSS v.20 software.
Most of the respondents were male (63.4%) aged between 20-40 years (43.2%). The highest frequencies of diseases were related to internal diseases (10.3%), infections (9.4%), surgeries (8.5%), and urology (8%), respectively. Quality of the medical services and cost of treatment, with averages and standard deviations of 3.08 ±0.05 and 3.05±0.35, were respectively the most important factors in traveling to Iran. Medical equipment and political-security took the next places with averages and standard deviations of 2.98±0.04 and 2.98±0.07. Finally, waiting time for receiving (2.84±0.09) had the least effect in traveling to Iran from the tourists' view point.
Results indicated that quality of health services, the cost of treatment, medical equipment, and political- security factors were positively affected the tourists' motivation in traveling to Iran for their medicinal purposes. Waiting time, therapeutic diversity, sociological factors, and tourism attractiveness did not have much importance. Therefore, we suggest that advertising and marketing programs should focus on the top five factors affecting health tourism