Investigating Perceived Value and Behavioural Intention in the South Korean Medical Tourism Industry – A Consumer and Management Perspective

Sung, Eunhee (2017) Investigating Perceived Value and Behavioural Intention in the South Korean Medical Tourism Industry – A Consumer and Management Perspective. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

Text (Final Thesis)
PhD Thesis_Final_Eunhee redacted for signature.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (9MB) | Preview


This research investigates the emerging phenomenon of medical tourism in the context of South Korea. In particular it explores the key success factors of South Korean medical tourism by an investigation into the key elements of customer-perceived value associated with benefits and sacrifices. The new proposed model provides a holistic view of medical tourism in terms of the decision-making processes influenced by beneficial and sacrificial customer perceptions, as well as the interaction between the two perspectives of industry and consumers. The interpretive case study within the thematic units of analysis is employed to achieve the aim of this study. Multiple methods of document reviews, in-depth interviews and qualitative surveys are employed to illuminate the case. The unit investigation and unit of analysis through iterative hermeneutic circles is conducted to generate insight into this phenomenon of medical tourism within the industry and its consumers in a deep perspective. The key findings of this study reveal that there is some degree of confusion in using the term ‘medical tourism’ in today’s society from the points of view of both providers and consumers, and this suggests the need for a tight definition for the increasingly globalised and industrialised medical tourism industry as it develops in the future. South Korean medical tourism industry stakeholders highlight their ‘high-quality medical services’ but point out the need for improvements in ‘promotions’, ‘medical tourism infrastructure’, ‘human resources’, as well as the significance of ‘government support’. On the other hand, the prospective medical tourists perceive ‘medical quality’, ‘cost’ and ‘travel’ as the main beneficial elements of medical tourism, and ‘cost’, ‘distance’ and ‘language’ as the main sacrificial elements. More importantly, this study reveals ‘medical quality’, ‘cost’, ‘reputation’ and ‘safety’ as the most important key factors to be considered in choosing a medical tourism destination. However, in the South Korean context, it appears that ‘information’ and ‘familiarity’ are of greater importance than ‘distance’ with regard to the destination. The new model supported by empirical evidence can provide a good example for any emerging medical tourism stakeholders or government that desire to develop this industry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medical tourism; Customer-perceived value; Perceived benefits; Perceived sacrifices; Destination choice; Key success factor; South Korean medical tourism; Interpretive case study; Unit of analysis; Thematic analysis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G154.9 Travel and State. Tourism
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2017 15:53
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:05

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.