Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to serve as an introduction to the usefulness of means-end chain (MEC) theory and analysis for branding in health tourism. Design/methodology/approach – An online survey was conducted within the transnational EU-project Alpshealthcomp and with two of the largest public health insurances in Germany. Research design is based on hard laddering according to Walker and Olson. MEC items were derived from Rokeach and from Hiesel and from results of a consumer survey (n=1.607) for Alpine health and wellness tourism. Findings – Several research questions are proposed regarding consumer association structures for health tourism using principal component analysis, cluster analysis and t-test contrast of hypothesis. Personal values have proven to be most valuable for establishing brand associations. Here an identifiable and describable common structure exists for Alpine health tourism. With increasing product experience, consumers concentrate on viewer values closely linked to their personality. If product experience is low, consumers depend on a multitude of values. Research limitations/implications – The proportion of female participants in the sample is very high. A more balanced sample and analysis for gender differences could be valuable. Also it should be tried to replicate findings for other types of intangible services. Practical implications – The identified value structure can be addressed in brand communication and could complement the concept of brand personality. When shifting emphasis in staging and communicating values according to product experience, tourism managers can establish a stable and strong brand. Behavioral branding can be a useful tool in this context. Originality/value – Branding started to expand into the tourism industry only recently. Specific research work on branding in health tourism is scarce. To the best of the authors' knowledge, there exists no article in which MEC analysis was applied in order to analyze possible carrier of brand associations in health tourism. This work aims to bridge the gap.
"Goods products are easier to test, measure and evaluate, while service products provide a greater challenge . Prior to the unique characteristic of service products in MTI, MT attribute usually offers intangible services to the patients . Pikkemeaat & Weiermair  observed that services offered in HT are becoming more and more intangible due to the increasing emotionality in the stage of services delivery by new and exotic forms of treatment like sound therapy  and the technological development of hardware applied in diagnostic such as digital radiology and treatment like hydro jet . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current interest in Health Tourism (HT) trend to focus on foreign patients or individuals travelling internationally for medical reasons or to enhance their state of well-being, typically paid out-of pocket. Specifically, Joint Commission International (JCI) and British Standards Institute (BSI) accreditation health care organisation in Brazil, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico started to perform high quality and safety health care worldwide in order to achieve a higher standard of patient care. In 2013, Malaysia was recognised as top five destination in the world for health tourism and Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC) in Kuala Lumpur was selected as the top accredited hospital which provides medical tourists with outstanding care beyond standard clinical protocols. Reports estimated that Malaysia is welcoming 583,000 medical tourists and generated more than RM 600 million revenue by the end of 2012. Definitely, these positive statistics indicate a very promising and a bright future for Malaysia Medical Tourism Industry (MTI). Despite there is an increasing number of Medical Websites (MTwebs) used to introduce and promote health services to prospective patients, question still concern about the quality of MTwebs to deliver valuable health information resource in medical sector. Hence, a holistic Internet Marketing Strategy Framework (IMSF) is needed for Medical Tourism Programme in Malaysia (MTP). Therefore, this paper aims to discuss literature reviews on characteristic and functionality of MTwebs.
"), and participation in health tourism activities (Boga and Weiermair 2011). Tourism marketing and resource management strategies can be derived from means–end studies, including possible applications at ski resorts (Klenosky, Gengler, and Mulvey 1993) and natural parks (Lopez-Mosquera and Sanchez 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Honoring a memorialized past while being responsive to the needs of contemporary visitors is a challenge for heritage tourism managers. Visitor-employed photography (VEP) and a means–end investigation were used to identify, organize, and explain numerous descriptions of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Nine images were obtained through VEP and used during 71 on-site interviews (41 Anglo and 30 Hispanic visitors). Four primary meanings about the images were articulated by visitors, including patriotism, remembering and reembracing history, multiculturalism, and identity. However, the explanations given to achieve these outcomes differed between Anglo and Hispanic respondents. Managerial implications in relation to heritage tourism sites were discussed.
Journal of Travel Research 01/2013; 52(1):42-55. DOI:10.1177/0047287512457266 · 1.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this study is to employ the collage technique, an unstructured qualitative association instrument, with respect to place branding initiatives and to uncover internal stakeholders' perceptions of the region or destination. Design/methodology/approach – The first part presents a general framework of brand and destination branding in the field of tourism research. The empirical study was carried out in selected Alpine tourism destinations. In the first stage the authors identified the main representatives of stakeholders in two Austrian tourism destinations. In the second, the collage technique was used to obtain stakeholders' perceptions of the tourism destination brand. Findings – The findings reveal that different internal stakeholders trace different perceptions of tourism places and illustrate the importance of using the collage as a technique to explore the various identities of a place. Research limitations/implications – It is argued that internal destination stakeholders do not share the same brand perception of the destination brand and they do not share a common identity, which is communicated through the destination management organisations (DMOs). However, more research is needed to support these findings as the study is limited by its sample size and focus on the Alpine region of Tyrol, Austria. Practical implications – The results suggest that DMOs should establish better identities within their destination. In particular, they must consider that the collage is a very important technique in communicating the desired brand identity to internal destination stakeholders. Originality/value – This paper seeks to clarify the effectiveness of the collage method as a tool to measure stakeholders' identities of selected tourism destinations. The paper demonstrates the importance of employing different association methods (word or picture) in recognizing stakeholders' knowledge and opinions of destinations as a primary step in analyzing stakeholders' brand identity perception.
Journal of Place Management and Development 03/2009; 2(1). DOI:10.1108/17538330910942807
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