Purpose – This article aims to examine how Macao could become a destination to attract health and medical tourists from the People's Republic of China (China), as since its return from Portuguese control in 1999 it has been capitalising on its position as a cultural link between Portugal and China. Design/methodology/approach – A study was conducted recently on the possible demand for Western and traditional Chinese medicine practices by mainland Chinese tourists visiting Macao. A survey was undertaken of their views on consuming health and medical tourism products. Findings – It was found that there is a definite opportunity for medical tourism in Macao among Chinese tourists. The bodycheck is the medical service most highly sort and word-of-mouth together with the internet are the most preferred channels for information. Majority also prefer to package their medical trip with tourism activities. Research limitations/implications – Macao is the perfect place to study outbound Chinese tourists and their potential desire for special interest tourism activities, because they are entitled to enter on independent visas. Eventually, this will be the case in many more destinations and the results could be seen as predictive. Practical implications – A mismatch between the requirements of the demand side and supply has been discovered and needs to be remedied with more public sector encouragement of this emerging niche. Originality/value – The first study of its kind is carried out amongst Chinese outbound tourists, who can obtain independent leisure travel visas to tour outside China. Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
CitationLam, C.-C. (C.), Du Cros, H. L., & Vong, T. N. (L.) (2011). Macao’s potential for developing regional Chinese medical tourism. Tourism Review, 66(1/2), 68-82.
- Medical treatment
- International marketing
- Health care