The effect of cultural distance on medical tourism

Esiyok B., Çakar M., Kurtulmuşoğlu F. B.

Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, vol.6, no.1, pp.66-75, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2016.03.001
  • Journal Name: Journal of Destination Marketing and Management
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.66-75
  • Keywords: Cultural distance, Medical tourism, International patient, Diaspora, Religious similarity, Medical specialty
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: No


This study analyses the relationships between the origin countries of international patients and their cultural distance from the destination country in the context of medical tourism. A novel panel dataset is used, covering 109 origin countries whose citizens came to Turkey and received medical treatment during 2012–2014. After accounting for control variables such as religious similarity, Turkish diaspora in the origin country, physical distance, GDP per capita and number of inbound tourists, the study finds that cultural distance has an impact on the choice of destination for medical tourism. This impact persists at the medical specialty level.