MEDICAL-RELATED FACTORS AND PERCEIVED IMAGE OF MEDICAL TOURISM IN THAILAND: CASE STUDY OF MIDDLE-EAST TOURISTS

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Rosechongporn Komolsevin

Abstract

            This research aims specifically to explore the medical-related factors that affect the image of medical services in Thailand, as perceived by the Middle-east tourists, and their medical service seeking behaviors. The researchers collected data from 204 Middle-east tourists selected purposively from 14 countries who had attended a kind of medical services in Thailand. Data were collected from September – December, 2012 mainly in hospitals, and analyzed using descriptive analysis and hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The Middle-east tourists’ main travelling purpose is to get medical treatments, mostly for general health examination; while a few for special treatments (e.g. heart surgery). Most of them have come to Thailand two times or more, and would stay for more than one week up to one month.  A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed the two most important factors that influenced the Middle-east tourists’ perceived image of Thai medical tourism: the tourists’ positive past experience with medical treatments in that particular hospital and reputation of physicians & hospitals (knowledge, expertise, and high technology equipments).

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บทความวิจัย