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COVID-19 and medical tourism intentions for Iran – a test of the risk perception attitude framework (RPAF)

Ferdos Abbaspour (Business and Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Sanaz Soltani (Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä yliopisto, Finland)
Aaron Tham (School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 25 April 2022

Issue publication date: 11 May 2023




This paper aims to examine whether medical tourism can be a frontrunner in terms of post-pandemic recovery for the industry


A mixed-method analysis of 17 interviews and 210 questionnaires involving medical tourists to Iran was applied.


Medical tourists perceived the risks posed by COVID-19 as a temporal one, and attitudes toward post pandemic visitation intentions remained strong. In addition, these tourists can mostly be classified into responsive individuals, who demonstrate not only high risk but also high efficacy levels to negotiate the threats posed by the pandemic. No gender differences were located between male and female medical tourists in terms of post-COVID-19 travel intentions to Iran.


This research extends the application of the risk perception attitude framework to a medical tourism context. Furthermore, medical tourists are uncovered as another segment of crisis-resistant tourists.



The authors specially acknowledge Dr Sharifi Medical and Diagnostic Laboratory, Health Tourism Department, Isfahan, Iran, for providing support in terms of translation and data collection.


Abbaspour, F., Soltani, S. and Tham, A. (2023), "COVID-19 and medical tourism intentions for Iran – a test of the risk perception attitude framework (RPAF)", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 1506-1530.



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