Identifying and Prioritizing Components of the Medical and Healthcare Tourism Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Faculty of Social Sciences, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Management School, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK

Abstract

Introduction: One of the important factors that may affect the destination of development
is medical and healthcare tourism. The presence of experts in medical tourism and the
geographical location of Iran is one of the most important factors in the sustainable
development of Iran. This study aimed to identify and prioritize the components of the
medical and healthcare tourism entrepreneurship ecosystem (EE) in Iran with a structuralinterpretive
modeling approach.
Methods: This research is methodologically a mixed (qualitative-quantitative) exploratory
type, and its participants were health tourism experts and entrepreneurs. The method for
selecting the participants was Purposeful sampling.15 participants were interviewed based on
theoretical saturation. The data collection tools were interviews and questionnaires. Also, to
analyze the data in this research, we used two overlapping processes of open and axial coding
and structural-interpretive modeling.
Results: The results of data analysis showed that the components of the health tourism EE
were included in the seven main dimensions of law, regulations and governance factors,
financing and investment, the role of culture, influential institutions (universities and
Educational centers), influential regional market factors, the role of human capital, and
effective infrastructure.
Conclusion: Researchers examining entrepreneurial ecosystems have not studied the role
of a regional level of analysis. The results of qualitative analysis and Interpretive Structural
Modeling (ISM) showed that to create the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the medical and
healthcare tourism, the central factors resulting from qualitative research interacted with each
other at three different levels, and the set of factors at these levels caused the medical sciences
university to move towards creating an Entrepreneurial ecosystem drive in the university