Branding new services in health tourism
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: This research investigates the relationships between the three dimensions of medical travelers’ perceptions; ‘Perceived Congruence of Demand-Supply Medical Facilities’, ‘Perceived Quality of Demand-Supply Medical Facilities’, and ‘Brand Image of Hospitality Facilities’, and the dependent construct; ‘Destination Brand Choices’. This study found the statistically significant impacts of the medical travelers’ three dimensional perceptions on medical tourism brand choice. In specific, this research contributes the theory development as the confirmation for the aspects that the medical travelers would select the medical/ health service provider (s) by the perceived congruence between demand and supply of medical facilities, the perceived quality for the congruence of demand and supply of medical facilities, and the image of destination brand in terms of prompted hospitality facilities. Market practitioners can employ the research results to adjust the market strategies and programs, especially for developing and improving the medical travelers’ perceptions toward hospitals and/or doctors, and especially for the country image of Thailand. Similarly, the policy makers or relevant government agents should be concerned the importance of the perceptions of medical travelers’ on the positive congruence and quality of demand and supply in terms of medical facilities, and Thailand’s brand image. Although the quantitative method could not provide the tests of moderating impacts of ‘Agency’s Roles’, ‘Roles of Internet/ Online Contact’, and ‘Perceived Consistence of Health Insurance System’, the exploratory qualitative data present the important implications for these variables. Contemporary medical tourism markets, the medical travelers search information or contact the medical service providers through internet/ online. The medical tourism agency is important for the medical travelers. Taking the medical tourism services away from hometown, the medical tourism agents can facilitate the travelers to search destinations; country, hospital, and doctors. The roles of insurance system on the destination selection, especially for the Western medical travelers, are important. Moreover, from the exploratory data, a customer’s ‘Brand Trust’ toward the country or hospital destination can be a suspected mediating construct of the examined relationships between the three dimensional perceptions and destination brand choice. This mediating construct’s roles should be investigated in the further study.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 03/2015; 175(175):pp. 376-383. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.1213
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ABSTRACT: Bu çalışmanın amacı, termal turizmde, hizmetin önemi ile davranışsal niyetler arasındaki ilişkide otel niteliklerinin aracı etkisinin olup olmadığının tespit edilmesidir. Çalışmanın amacına ulaşmak için, otel nitelikleri, hizmetin önemi ve davranışsal niyetler (başkalarına öneride bulunma ve yeniden satın alma) değişkenleri kullanılarak bir aracı etki modeli oluşturulmuştur. Araştırma, Balıkesir ilinde faaliyet gösteren termal turizm işletmelerinde yapılmıştır. Bu işletmelerden hizmet alan ve kolayda örnekleme yöntemi seçilen 550 tüketici ile yüz yüze görüşülerek veriler toplanmıştır. Modele ilişkin hipotezleri test etmek için regresyon analizi (Aracı Etki Analizi) kullanılmıştır. Yapılan analizler sonucunda, hizmetin önemi ile davranışsal niyetler arasındaki ilişkide otel niteliklerinin kısmi aracı etkiye sahip olduğu sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Anahtar Kelimeler: Otel Nitelikleri, Hizmetin Önemi, Davranışsal Niyetler, Termal Turizm, Aracı Etki
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ABSTRACT: The current interest in Health Tourism (HT) trend to focus on foreign patients or individuals travel 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 organization in Brazil, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico are 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 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 aimed to explain about the best criteria internet strategies that are significantly important in MTI particularly for MTwebs. Keywords—Medical Tourism; Promotion; Internet Strategy; International Patient TouristsFPTP Postgraduate Seminar, FPTP, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia; 12/2013