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The role of relationship marketing in behavioural intentions of medical tourism services and guest experiences

Bruno Miguel Sousa (Instituto Politecnico do Cavado e do Ave, Barcelos, Portugal)
Gisela Maria Alves (Universidade Europeia, Lisbon, Portugal)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 30 July 2019

Issue publication date: 10 September 2019

1010

Abstract

Purpose

This paper entails a reflection on medical tourism services and guest experiences. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how relationship marketing relates to other relevant variables in consumer’s behavior applied to medical tourism contexts and guest experiences. This study aims at discussing the customer behavior in healthcare management and medical tourism contexts and addresses the predisposition for the destination and the influence of relationship marketing on behavioral intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts from a conceptual framework based on relationship marketing theory. From this theoretical base, the concepts of trust, commitment and cooperation and behavioral intentions are derived. A theoretical model is developed specifying antecedents of satisfaction and loyalty in healthcare management and medical tourism contexts.

Findings

The conceptual model shows that tourist destinations in the context of healthcare and medical tourism can be managed together with the study of the tourist consumer behavior and should focus on aspects that reinforce relationship marketing to the site, as planning services excellence, communication strategies, promotion services, integrated experiences and combating seasonality.

Originality/value

This study has already identified that the global movement of tourism is seemingly showing an increased focus on the niche product or niche service. In this case, the question seems to be whether the further growth in demand for healthcare management and medical tourism – as a niche tourism example – products will continue until they take a form of mass tourism. The new vogue of medical tourism forces to challenge and re-visit the power relationships that exist within contemporary tourism and the host–guest relationship.

Keywords

Citation

Sousa, B.M. and Alves, G.M. (2019), "The role of relationship marketing in behavioural intentions of medical tourism services and guest experiences", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 224-240. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-05-2018-0032

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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