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Can protection motivation theory explain the perception of international tourists' on medical tourism?

Ai Na Seow (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman–Kampus Perak, Kampar, Malaysia)
Chee Keong Choong (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman–Kampus Perak, Kampar, Malaysia)
I-Chi Chen (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman–Kampus Perak, Kampar, Malaysia)
Yuen Onn Choong (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman–Kampus Perak, Kampar, Malaysia)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 1 March 2021

Issue publication date: 6 April 2022

391

Abstract

Purpose

Medical tourism has grown to become a formidable multinational industry to generate revenue. This phenomenon has also increased impact on the healthcare sector as well as strategies development opportunities. The present study emphases on the international tourists' behavioural intention for medical tourism in Malaysia. A research framework is derived from the exceptional component of fear appeal in protection motivation theory (PMT).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected with a sample of 501 respondents and analysed via structural equation modelling approach. Both measurement model and structural model were assessed to generate the result.

Findings

The outcomes have shown a good backing on the use of adapted PMT theoretical model. There is a higher predictive power on health coping than health threats. Coping alternatives can be served as the linkage between the PMT appraisals and behavioural intention.

Research limitations/implications

The study confirmed the effectiveness of using a theoretical framework in predicting international tourists' behavioural intention for medical tourism. It is suggesting that risk adaptive behaviour does offer a valuable proposition in contributing to the reception of medical tourism.

Practical implications

The present study argues the need for greater clarity in understanding the emergent implications for health policy and healthcare delivery for future medical tourism development.

Originality/value

The fundamental theories and current literature do not incorporate the component of fear appeal in explaining decision making. The study findings demonstrate that protection motivation theory has provide another promising theoretical model in explaining international tourists' behaviour intention for medical tourism.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research has been carried out under Fundamental Research Grant Scheme project FRGS/1/2019/SS01/UTAR/02/2 provided by Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia as well as partial fulfilment of main author postgraduate study (Doctor of Philosophy).

Citation

Seow, A.N., Choong, C.K., Chen, I.-C. and Choong, Y.O. (2022), "Can protection motivation theory explain the perception of international tourists' on medical tourism?", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 394-412. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-10-2020-0189

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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