Toward a typology of medical tourists: A case study of Thailand

Methawee Wongkit, Robert Douglas McKercher

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the motivations of medical tourists who sought treatment in Thailand. Previous research has tended to treat the medical tourist market as undifferentiated, with the decision to seek treatment made prior to departure. These assumptions may be incorrect, and a significant finding of this study was that medical tourists can be categorized into four different groups, each of which displays significant differences in the types of treatment sought, the motivations for visiting Thailand, the decision making process, and their travel characteristics. One contribution of this study is its indication that if destination managers understand the nature and characteristics of each type of medical tourist, they will be able develop and promote more appropriate and satisfactory medical tourism products and services for their visitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Medical tourism
  • Medical tourist
  • Special interest tourism
  • Thailand
  • Typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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