عنوان مقاله [English]
Tourism has become one of the growing sectors in the world today and its effect goes far beyond the economic and business aspects. With the ever-increasing demand for travel and the tourism industry becoming one of the largest industries in the world, every country needs to strive for social economic development and infrastructure growth to attract potential tourists. In this regard, the expansion of communication techniques along with the transfer of medical knowledge has led to the emergence of a new form of tourism called health tourism. In other words, the combination of medicine and tourism is considered a new form of tourism today . Familiarity with medical medicine and the transfer of medical knowledge from different regions of the world to each other has led to the emergence of a branch of the tourism industry called health tourism. Factors such as changes in consumer values, structural changes, aging of the population, and the requirements of the health service system can be considered as the main factors of the emergence of health tourism. Among the most important factors affecting the development of the health tourism industry, we can mention social security, having international standards in medical centers, issuing treatment visas, developing public infrastructure strategy, human resource development strategy, information and marketing system development strategy, and product development strategy . Therefore, considering the importance of marketing in tourism, especially health tourism, no research shows a scientific model in this field. Based on this, the main problem of the current research is to investigate the impact of marketing on the development of health tourism and to present a marketing model for the development of health tourism in Tehran.
Materials and Methods
In this research, the marketing model of health tourism development in Tehran has been presented. According to the purpose, the research method is applied and in terms of approach, it is exploratory and explanatory, and the research method is also qualitative. The statistical population of the research includes experts in the tourism and health industry. Due to the qualitative nature of the research, first pluralism was used in library resources. For this purpose, domestic and foreign article databases and human databases were used to obtain resources, and then the interview method was used to collect data. For this reason, the purposeful snowball sampling method was used. Thus, first, an interview was conducted with people who had the necessary expertise in the field of the research subject, and at the end, they were asked to introduce others who could help the researcher in the research. For this purpose, by referring to a number of tourism and health industry experts, the prototype was selected and semi-structured interviews were conducted with them. At this stage, by asking the interview questions and taking into account the expertise of the people, the interview space was initiated and promoted. Accordingly, in this research, data collection was carried out until the theoretical saturation of information on the subject and where the new data collected did not differ from the previously collected data. Finally, 12 people were selected as research samples in this phase in the qualitative section. The interview was conducted face-to-face, without bias, and mainly at the workplace of the participants, alone and using their voice recordings (with coordination).
In the current research, the steps of foundation’s data theory is in 4 steps: studying and collecting primary data; conducting semi-structured interviews with tourism and health industry experts; coding data to obtain concepts, components, and dimensions; and finally, identifying new components and establishing relationships between components and dimensions. Based on this, three types of coding (open, central,and selective) were done. Next, after open coding, 160 concepts, totaling 760 words, were extracted from the data. After open coding, axial coding was done and research categories (components) were determined. Based on this, 22 components were determined in the form of 7 dimensions. After extracting the components, in the selective coding stage, the components were categorized in the form of themes (dimensions). After open coding, axial coding is done. Categories (components) can be obtained through axial coding. After determining the dimensions, components, and concepts, to determine the relationships between the identified components and dimensions, the framework prescribed by the Foundation Data Theory was applied for modeling.
The development of health tourism infrastructure in the tourism industry will be extremely vital and sensitive in this era and will create a new direction and perspective in the development of research in the field of the tourism industry. The tourism industry, like other industries, must accept the requirement that it must adapt its business to the required infrastructural transformations and carefully monitor the future prospects of this field to be able to meet the needs of the market according to the new conditions. In the qualitative part, the results showed that the health tourism model has 5 causal, contextual, interventional, strategy, and consequences components. By analyzing and interpreting the conducted interviews, a set of mixed elements of marketing were also identified as causal factors that affect the central factor which is the intention of health tourism. Therefore, it can be claimed that the first factor that affects the intention of health tourism and causes the behavioral control of tourists is the mixed elements of marketing like medical services (product), treatment cost (price), location, promotion (promotion), preventive processes, and natural factors.The central action of the research was the intention of health tourism. Therefore, during the analysis of the conducted interviews, tourism intention was determined as the basis of attracting health tourists to tourist destinations, especially in Tehran. In most of the interviews conducted, the interviewees emphasized that the attraction of health tourists requires the intention of tourism. In other words, tourists’ learning and their evaluation of travel and destination conditions have led to acceptance and belief in travel, internal motivation, and accurate choice of tourist destination, which further compels tourists to plan for travel, use opportunities and resources, coordinate with travel agents prepare tickets, hotel reservations, and travel plans. Environmental and organizational factors have been the intervening factors of the current research model. The analysis of conducted interviews showed that environmental factors including political security factors, economic factors, and cultural factors of tourism are among the most important intervening factors that can influence the attraction of health tourists in tourism destinations. The results showed that the political and security factors of the region, especially the tourist destinations, which are heavily affected by terrorist acts, kidnapping of tourists, regional wars, internal and regional disturbances, and the conditions of sanctions, cause political instability and security threats. This issue affects the economic recession, currency fluctuations, unemployment rate, excessive price growth, and hinders the attraction of tourists. The improvement of infrastructure has been one of the underlying factors of the present research model and has a significant effect on the attraction of health tourists. To attract health tourists effectively, a suitable platform should be adopted. The results of this research showed that the infrastructure provides a platform for attracting health tourists in Tehran and the destinations should use these criteria to improve empowerment, especially in the human and environmental fields, and adopt a targeted strategy according to their strengths and weaknesses. The results also showed that the development of infrastructure including transportation systems, accommodation and health services, hospitality services (food and restaurants), and information and communication systems are effective in attracting health tourists to Tehran. Attracting health tourists has been the strategic factor of the current research model. The analysis of the conducted interviews showed that the attraction of health tourists through the satisfaction of therapeutic travel, revisiting if needed, and introducing the tourist destination to friends and acquaintances with similar intentions, causes economic, cultural, social, political, and environmental development in tourism destinations. Therefore, the tourism industry as the largest social mobility has numerous cultural, economic, and political consequences.