The Evaluation of Health Tourism in The Context of Digitalization and Digital Marketing

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Mercan Ş. O., Budakkıran M.


  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • City: Sofija
  • Page Numbers: pp.327-340
  • Editors: Vilian KRYSTEV Sabriye ÇELIK UĞUZ,Recep EFE Erol KAPLUHAN, Editor
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


1. INTRODUCTION The factors such as the globalizing world and the relations between countries, the facilitation of international transportation, the increase in financial opportunities, the rising in the quality of health services in almost every part of the world have ascended the rate of participation in health tourism in the world. The needs arising from industrialization and urbanization also affect the participation in health tourism positively. Therefore, the demand for health tourism has increased. Health tourism can be defined as “individuals' visit to a country out of their settlements where they live, in order to receive both preventive, curative, rehabilitative and health-promoting services” in general (SATURK, 2020). Throughout years, different regulations and studies have been made on the classification of health tourism. Until recent years, health tourism had been examined under three subtitles as medical, thermal, disabled, and elderly tourism (Ünlüönen and Çeti, 2019: 113-114). In the studies have been carried out lately, health tourism has been analyzed under five headings as medical tourism, thermal tourism, wellness tourism, geriatric tourism, and disabled tourism (Yıldırım Kaptanoğlu, Aydın, Acar, Seçer, & Pozanti, 2019: 34). If it is mentioned about the current situation and future of health tourism; while there are some strong aspects such as accessibility to faster and more accurate information because of globalization and technological advancements, and providing cheaper promotional costs, it is known that there are other points that need to be improved such as auditing and reliability. As a result of the developments, being in search of new markets and product diversity have arisen. In the coming years, its popularity will increase in the light of the increasing elderly population, ease of transportation and most importantly economic opportunities. In the coming years, its popularity will increase in the light of the increasing elderly population, ease of transportation and most importantly economic opportunities (Kaya, Yıldırım, Karasuvaran & Özer, 2013: 5-6). It seems that different concepts emerged with the intertwining of technology and industry in health tourism, and they are prevailing in all parts of life. A new 328 era called "Technological Age”, or "Digital Age" has emerged and continues to progress rapidly. People are now able to act quickly and instantaneously while fulfilling their needs and trying to access any information. As a result, different job descriptions, communication technologies, systemic changes, working methods appeared (Yücel & İnan, 2020: 44). The decrease in demand for intermediary services such as travel agencies or tour operators because of digitalization may cause some tourism enterprise initiatives in countries to fade. It is known that the opportunities provided to new high value-added tourism services in the context of digitalization with updated business partnerships will take shape in the distribution sector. Hence, digital technologies play a very essential role in the development of the tourism industry (Kalabukhova, Morozova, Onokoy, Chıcherova & Shadskaja, 2020: 885). As in all other sectors, there are changes in health tourism with the effect of digitalization, too. For instance, the first action to be taken by people who will receive health tourism services in a different region or country is a detailed preliminary research. This preliminary research is carried out with the requirements of the era, using technology and internet, and issues such as accessibility, speed, and cost positively affect the preference of the internet (Kiralova & Pavliceka, 2014: 359-360). As well as the positive aspects of digitalization and digital marketing there are negative aspects, too. Although the information about the product and service can be accessed quickly and easily, uncertainties may be existing in terms of the accuracy, reliability, and auditability of that information. In addition, since there is no possibility to touch and check the products concretely before purchasing, the purchasing rate is on the decline. Another negative aspect of digitalization and digital marketing is that individuals’ anxiety regarding the confidentiality and security of their card information when shopping with credit cards in electronic environment (Safko, 2009: 190 cited in Koçak Alan, Tümer Kabadayı & Erişke, 2018: 496-498).