Today, the existence of historical and natural potentials has made Iran as one of the most attractive tourists' destinations in the world. Yazd Province, as one of the sides of the golden triangle of tourism in Iran, with experienced doctors and specialists is a good field for medical tourism development. The purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze the factors affecting the attraction of foreign tourists for treatment in Yazd, and consequently the development of this industry.
The present study was conducted using fuzzy cognitive mapping and social network analysis approach. Experts in the field of tourism and treatment in Yazd Province were used to form the expert team. Initially, 15 factors were identified by reviewing the background of the studies. Then, through screening by expert team, 12 final factors were selected and entered into fuzzy cognitive mapping process. Social network analysis approach was used for the scientific integration of cognitive mappings as well as mapping. After mapping, key factors were identified and finally, the effect of different policies in the form of medical tourism development was investigated.
Visa issuance and human resource abilities, along with quality of service, advertising, language proficiency, infrastructure, security, updated equipment, regulations, costs, respect for foreign patients' beliefs, and treatment villages were effective in attracting foreign medical tourists.
The results of this study indicate the necessity of ensuring the safety of foreign tourists through cooperation between different institutions and the importance of facilitating the issuance of visas. It also highlights the role of the skilled and capable human resources in the survival of health care system.
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