Does eWOM influence destination trust and travel intention: a medical tourism perspective

Abubakar Mohammed Abubakar
2016 Ekonomska Istrazivanja-Economic Research  
Virtual community membership has a strong influence on a tourist's behaviours and the way information is transmitted. Drawing on trust transfer theory as a theoretical framework, this study tests an empirical model that investigates the influence of electronic wordof-mouth (eWOM) on destination trust and travel intention. The study also diagnoses gender differences in the proposed model. Data were obtained from a sample of 216 tourists in Cyprus. The findings from regression analyses suggest
more » ... t eWOM is positively related to travel intention; eWOM is positively related to destination trust; and destination trust is positively related to travel intention. Additionally, the impact of eWOM on destination trust was significant for both genders but stronger for men, while the impact of destination trust on travel intention was stronger for women. The paper extends the existing literature regarding new response variables associated with eWOM. ECOnOMiC REsEARCh-EkOnOMskA isTRAžiVAnjA Literature review The value of health services exports worldwide was $11.7 million in 2010, and the number of foreign patients worldwide was between five and six million per year (Lautier, 2008). According to an independent report prepared by Youngman (2015) , on a global scale about 6 million med-tourists have travelled abroad for medical treatments; while the number could be up to 10 million when domestic med-tourists are included. As noted earlier, the motive for engagement in med-tour depends on the many factors associated with the tourist's home country and host country. This include cost, unavailability, and lack of health insurance, queues, know-how and skills (World-Report, 2010). According to Vincent, Deniz, and Haiyan (2011) and Ben Hanqin and Peter (Ben, Hanqin, & Peter, 2011) , Hong Kong med-tourists' motivations were linked to factors such as promotion, quality of medical services and personnel, expertise, costs, credibility and destination attributes. From pull and push theory, med-tour push factors include personal reasons, privacy, appearances and many others; while pull factors are mostly associated with the host country, e.g. word-of-mouth from friends or relatives, standard health facilities, Disclosure statement No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
doi:10.1080/1331677x.2016.1189841 fatcat:o37vut37szfcxfnhmzncvc74i4