An Examination Of Role Of Medical Tourism As An Attraction For Tourists In South Korea – A Comparison Of Gen X And Gen Y

In this globalised world, the tourism and travel industry is flourishing with a rapid speed. It has become an important part for economies of all countries. There are various sub-types of this tourism industry and few of them are about health, beauty, fitness and wellness tourism. As time is passing, more and more customers are becoming more conscious about their fitness, beauty and health. For this, they even prefer to visit to other countries. The concept of plastic surgeries has been derived from this enhanced orientation towards beauty, health and fitness. This is covered under the medical tourism concept and the present research is basically about the role of medical tourism in South Korea for attracting more international tourists towards this destination. This research has reviewed the previous studies about the medical tourism industry of South Korea and intergenerational differences in preference for medical tourism. Then using the secondary data, it has explored how Generation X and Generation Y are attracted towards this industry of South Korea. Moreover, it also explores the role of celebrity endorsement in stimulating the South Korean medical tourism industry. It is found that both generations are equally attracted towards South Korea for getting various kinds of plastic surgeries. The motivations, concerns and orientation of both generations are different but it is concluded that both are attracted towards the medical tourism of South Korea. It is also found that both international and South Korean celebrities are stimulating to get medical tourism from South Korea. At the end, future research recommendations are also provided.




Health and medical tourism is considered to be a fast developing sector in growing South Korea. On yearly basis, large number of individuals travel across the globe for attaining different types of healthcare and beauty services. As the medical tourism sector of South Korea is quite developed and it offers medical services with the help of numerous public and private hospitals, therefore, it has become an attractive destination for those individuals who aim to get beauty treatment (Holliday and Elfving-Hwang, 2012). Overall, the tourism industry of South Korea is growing and it has different tourism places and people travel to South Korea for enjoying summer vacations. In South Korea the tripsparticularly for older and handicapped individuals are very useful in spreading the health tourism over year. There are large number of international touriststhat come go to South Korea for treatment of differentbeauty related issues. There are different institutes, working in South Korea and providing services for hair transplantation,  dermatology, cancer treatments along with orthopedics and plastic surgeriesandesthetic operations. Other types of beauty services provided in South Korea include rhinoplasty, breast enlargement, breast lessening, and breastinvigorating as well as eyelids surgery and liposuction surgeries (Euromonitor, 2016).

Moreover, currently, more people are getting conscious about health of their teeth and seeking dental surgeries. South Korea is becoming a hub for health and medical tourism and offers excellent quality treatments with exceptional charges. InSouth Korea, doctors are highly competent and service providers are focusing on western standards for providing services. Water typicallyacts as a vital part, with hot and cold pools and ponds. Various types of massages and skin treatments are also offered by South Korea. There are different types of hotels in South Korea that provide thalasso therapy as well as spa services to the tourists (Arnault, 2016). These all beauty services have become an attraction for tourists from all over the world. Tourists visit South Korea to get the benefit out of the wonderful beauty treatment opportunities which are available there. According to Yu and Ko (2012),  South Korea has rapidly rising over the past two decades. It has more than 25 modern international beauty and health centers which are having advanced facilities for beauty tourists. The tourists from various countries like Japan and China visit South Korea to get the advantage of huge cost savings and excellent care South Korea is offering to its tourists. Likewise, there are also thousand of tourist from Eastern Russia which are visiting South Korea for getting beauty and health treatments. The government of Korea has also adopted various programs for marketing of such advanced service and it has even simplified the process of getting visas for beauty and health tourists. South Korea has invested millions of dollars in the promotion of beauty and health tourism and it is helping it in real sense to attract tourists. Though, tourists of different profiles are visiting the South Korea, it is observed that tourists from Generation X have more tendency to visit South Korea for the medical tourism. The present research specifically focuses on plastic surgeries which are done in the medical tourism industry of South Korea. Generation X is an exclusive as well as powerful buyer group whose conduct is frequently deliberated but not completely understood and this generation has more time and money for spending on medical tourism (Jung and Lee, 2009). Few researchers state that the tendency of Generation Y for medical and beauty tourism is also noteworthy. Severely impacted by technological advancements and the internet, this customer unit has changed inversely from preceding generations production, it an interesting group to target by business concerns (Vermeersch, Sanders and Willson, 2016). This research specifically focuses on the tourism behaviour of Generation X where secondary research will be conducted for fulfilling the aim and objectives.Though, this industry might be attractive for other generations as well but for having a limited scope and in-depth analysis on Generation X and Y, the scope is limited to Generation Xand Y only.It is intended to analyse the South Korean medical tourism industry (i.e. plastic surgeries) in an in-depth manner and this is what findings of this research will be discussing. Considering the above background of this research issue, following aim and objectives has been developed.

1.1.Aim and objectives

This research aims to analyse the importance of medical tourism for attracting tourists of Generation X and Y. The objectives of this research are:

  • To critically examine the literature about South Korea’s medical tourism
  • To critically examine the previous studies about the tourism behaviour of Generation Y and X
  • To examine whether or not plastic surgery industry of South Korea attracts the Generation X and Y tourists.
  • To examine the role of celebrity endorsement in attracting the tourists for plastic surgery in South Korea.


It is mentioned by many authors that LeaskFyall, and Barron  (2014), the medical tourism industry has become a source of attraction for tourists and many destinations are using it as a marketing strategy. The hotel industry, resorts and tourist destinations has realised that medical and health industry could be used to attract the tourists. Therefore, the purpose of the present research is to facilitate the understanding of the relationship which exists among medical industry of South Korea acting as the attraction for tourists belonging to different generations i.e. Gen Y and Gen X.

The studies of Vermeersch, Sanders and Willson  (2016) and Karavasilis et al., (2015) has already mentioned that it is important to study the customer profile of different generations in the tourism context. Indeed, few studies are already conducted, there is not a single study in which different tourists’ profile and their attractions are explored in the context of South Korea. Therefore, this study is going to have both academic and practical implications (Giovannini, Xu and Thomas, 2015). It does not only fills the literature gap but it is also of significance for managers of tourists destinations.  Moreover, medical industry will also get to know the valuable insight about the customers who are coming from all over the world. this will help to tourists destinations to collaborate with the medical industry for developing appropriate marketing strategies for attracting the tourists.






2.Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

2.1.Theoretical background

In this research, following theories are used as the foundation of this research. It adopts mainly three theories for understanding the role of medical industry as an attraction for Generation Y tourists in South Korea. 

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework

2.2.Wellness and MedicalTourism

There are different types of tourisms which have gained the significant attention of contemporary researchers in the field of tourism (Mowforth and Munt, 2009;2008). These terms are known as wellness tourism, medical tourism, health tourism, beauty and spa tourism and shopping tourism. This research is about the medical tourism and before moving towards medical tourism, it is important to differentiate these terms which are also related with the medical tourism.

2.2.1.Wellness tourism

Wellness tourism is considered to be the distinctcondition of health, including the congruence of body, cognizance and soul. This type of life style is also main during holidays (Erfurt-Cooper and Cooper, 2009). Majority of the individuals consider it hard to understandwellness tourism and its actualdeterminationsdue to fastdevelopment of this sector. Few social classes as well as olderconsumers selectgoing towellness tourism locations due to the demographic variations and sophisticated standard livings in the Western states. In the recent few years, it is observed that wellness tourism has become one of the reason of many tourists (Smith and Puczko, 2014). In wellness tourism, health and wellbeing is promoted with physical, psychological and spiritual activities. Many a times, wellness and medical tourism are mixed or confused with each other. However, it was necessary to differentiate it from medical tourism as this research does not directly focuses on wellness tourism. Therefore, it should not be mixed with medical tourism.

Tourism and travel has become a global phenomenon and it is influencing the development of society at all levels. There are various motives of tourism demand and shopping of both products and services is one of them (Rosenbaum and Spears, 2009). In the recent years, shopping has become one of the significant activity of the tourists (WTTC, 2010). Many research studies has found that to take wellness services is one of frequent activities of the tourists while they travel (Law and Au, 2000; Lehto et al., 2004; Rosenbaum and Spears, 2009). For example, the research study of Svensk Handel (2010) found that tourists who come to the Sweden spend significant amount on wellness products and services. Though, shopping of wellness products is increasing and this inclination towards shopping of wellness services by the tourists is also observed. This area related to the shopping of products and services by the tourists has remained neglected by the researchers (Moscardo, 2004). Up till now, very few research studies has explored the phenomenon of the wellness tourism and its related research issues (Sundström, Lundberg and Giannakis, 2011). Considering the rarity of research studies in this area, the present research is focusing on one aspect of wellness tourism (i.e. plastic surgeries).

2.2.2.Medical tourism

According to Connell (2013), medical tourism refers to the situation where individuals from one country travel to another for receiving the medical treatments. The purpose of this travelling is to get better access to technologically advanced equipment, enhanced affordability and improved medical care.  There are two types of medical tourisms 1) which is offered to get rid of some disease and 2) which is offered to beauty conscious customers. The present research does not focuses on medical tourism where travelling is done for getting rid of some diseases. Its focus is only on beauty related medical tourism where the main emphasis is on plastic surgeries. This will be further explored with respect to intergenerational differences.

Nowadays, travel service businesses try to fulfil the needs of customers to fulfil the requirements related to beauty. According toMorrison, Rimmington and Williams (2009), beauty consciouscustomers desire to look for medical dealings or old tourist inspirations. The beauty issueshave increased for elderlypeople and the wish to remain young and fit has resulted in increase in this type of tourism (Theobald, 2012). However, young generation is also conscious for being more beautiful and look more attractive. The intergenerational differences in tourism activities are the main focus of this research. The analysis of global tourism industry shows that this trend is not limited to one or two countries but it is observed all over the world that beauty, beauty services have become a core motivation of tourists to visit certain tourism destinations (Edgell, 2006).

There are various destinations that are offering the advanced medical services for overseas customers.  For example, India isa chief medical destination that provides aninclusivevariety of treatments counting both alternateactions and the most complexactions in the globe. There are different health tourism components in Malaysia, including healthcare plans andprograms(Reisinger, 2008).Likewise, the beauty and medical tourism industry is flourishing in the U.K and U.S.A, but the matter of fact is that these services are quite expensive in these destinations and these are not affordable for everyone (Connell, 2006). Likewise, Cohen (2008) highlighted that Thailand is also one of those countries which are developing in medical tourism services. This shows that all over the world medical industry is mixed up with the tourism industry. This particular research focuses on the medical tourism industry of South Korea where plastic surgery industry is selected for particular attention.

2.1.Celebrity endorsement

This is a form of advertising strategy which is used by established brands for promoting their products through involving the renowned celebrities in the advertisements. For the promotion of the particular product, the fame and social status of celebrities is used for attracting the customers towards particular product or service. The purpose of using celebrities in their advertisement is that it helps in disseminating the positive image of brand as this image is associated with the particular celebrity (Kim and Jeong, 2016). In the beauty and fashion industry, the role of celebrity endorsement is more crucial and it is commonly used in this industry. Celebrities are used in the advertisement for gaining the attention of potential customers. These celebrities are used for giving expert opinions regarding the use of particular product or service. Celebrities also become spokesperson or model for the product for attracting more customers (Mishra and Mishra, 2014). Sometimes, they are simply being associated with the particular brand which also helps in gaining the attention of the targeted customers. Celebrity endorsement is not famous in beauty and fashion industry but it is also integral part of marketing strategies of sports products. The established brands like Puma, Adidas, Nike and others heavily used the athletes for endorsing their brands to the targeted customers (Spry, Pappu and Bettina Cornwell, 2011). According to Euromonitor (2014), in 2012, Nike invested US$909 million on celebrity endorsement contracts which shows how important and worthy it is, to use this marketing tactic for attracting the customers.  Moreover, the trend of using the celebrities for a wide range of products from luxury watches to soft drinks has become common.  This depicts the importance of celebrity endorsement for any brand. To be specific about the South Korean celebrity endorsement context, the bands like K.Pop and Girls Generation are quite famous and such bands are used heavily in all industries. The present research also emphasises on the role of celebrity endorsement in medical tourism industry of South Korea to further analyse how celebrity endorsement is used in plastic surgery services of South Korea for attracting the tourists of Generation Y.

2.2.Generation X

Following the cohort of cohort of baby boomers, there is a demographic cohort known as the Generation X. The most typical dates used for this generations are from early 1960’s to early 1980s. This is relatively smaller cohort which is sandwiched between Generation Y and Baby Boomers. When societal values were shifting, the members of this generation were their in childhood so they are also known as ‘Latchkey generation’ as they got reduced level of supervision of adults when compared with previous generations (Dickson, 2015). This was due to increased divorce rates and enhanced participation of maternal in workforce. This was the time prior to the widespread popularity and availabilityof childcare options outside the vicinity of home. The research studies state that individuals belonging to this group are happy and active and they are better able to achieve a work life balance. This cohort also have more entrepreneurial tendencies (Drezen, 2001).

To be specific about the characteristics of Generation Xersare having some of the most influential websites like Google and Amazon. They are independent thinkers due to the conditions in which they have brought up. Hence, such conditions have made their self-reliant hence they like to do thing their own way. They thrive in friendly and casual work environments (Kim and Joung, 2015). Further to this, as said by Friedrich (2016), Generation Xers are artists. Many well-known articles like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Quentin Tarantino belongs from this demographic cohort.

One study is conducted by Ernst & Young on 1200 professionals which belonged from different generations. That study examined the strengths and weaknesses of all generations based on their perceptions. It is found that most of the respondents believed that Generation Xers are better and more effective manners as compared to other generations. They are better in revenue generation. They are more adaptable and they possess skills of problem solving. They feel more happy and satisfied when they work in collaboration (Hiram et al., 2012). They are most cost effective individuals and they show the highest level of flexibility at the workplace. They are quite sceptical which is due to their life experiences. That is why, these individuals often depict traits like lack of trust and they focus more on individual achievement. The personal goals and personal achievement is considered far more important that the goals of their work (Cunningham, 2016).

This particular demographic cohort is very practical generation. Before making any purchase decision, they look at the packaging and they seek the as much information as much available. They do pay significant attention on how the product is made. They prefer multi-functionality of products along with this they are more attracted towards the lower priced goods. As they have passed through the crisis, therefore, they prefer to use only practical goods. They do not like to spend more time on shopping and they use their free time in a rational manner. Their cultural needs differ from other generations. They are concerned about the environmental issues and they positively respond to the social campaigns (Shevhenko, 2013). These are mavericks and they do not like to indulge in parties and crowds. They get satisfaction from simple and mysterious things (Chumakov, 2008).

2.3.Generation Y

This research is also about the Generation Y and their attraction towards South Korea due to its flourishing beauty and medical industry. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to shed light on the characteristics of Generation Y, before moving to other section. The difference between Generation Y and earlier groups associates to a change in values on the part of Generation Y customers from those of prior associates (Sherman, 2014). Although Generation Y is comparable to its parent’s group (Baby Boomers) in scope, in nearly every other means it is very diverse (Noble, Haytko and Phillips, 2009). But, Boomers are yet learning the newest computer systems, their kids became aware with computers at a very initial stage (Knittel et al., 2016). Personality of Generation Y is trustful, more lenient, and better moved than numerous of their paternities. Furthermore, this generation highly focuses on the social problems and socially accountable corporations (Giovannini, Xuand Thomas, 2015). Most of the Generation Y members have a similar behaviour towards socially accountable businesses in that they are expected to belief the business more, buy the business’s goods, and pay consideration to the message of the corporation (Hrysochou et al., 2012). Personnel of Generation Y have been defined as distinctive, well-educated, technically practical, classy, developed, and organised (Bolton et al., 2013). These members are group-cantered and deliberate themselves to be “classy”, with a high sense of individuality (Lissitsa and Kol, 2016). The people of Generation Y needs distinguishing brands with qualities of their own that will work as a way of individualism (Krahn and Galambos, 2014). This group is categorised by a gathered, money-oriented, and consumer philosophy that is chiefly a consequence of technological innovation and advancement (Valentine and Powers, 2013).). Being a biggest consumer set in US history, Generation Y, also stated to as the “Millennials” as well as “Echo Boomers”, comprising of fifty-six million individuals. The total scale of this generation has previously had a deep impact on the retail sector. After becoming graduates from universities, the members of Generation become workers, their earning capacity will make them quite more significant as an influential consumer set (Vermeersch, Sanders and Willson, 2016). The sufficient buying power and technical proficiency of this customer group will play an important role in identifying that either online stores prosper over the long run or not. The majority of the members in Generation Y spend money on clothes as well as shoes, ornaments, sporting tools, health along with eatables and beauty care (Karavasilis et al., 2015). The phase of life of people of this group make them quite different from other generations or groups. As these people are young, that is why they have different choices than the other groups. Till the financial recession of the past few years, the lives of generation Y people are passed in a period of success. Equipped with a wide range of electronic technology, the members of Generation Y have grown up in an era of prompt worldwide communication, media overload and material surplus (Leask, Fyall& Barron, 2014). The members in Generation Y belonged to the age group of thirteen to thirty-two years of age in year 2012 (US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2012). Individuals belonging to the age group between 18- 34-years spend one hour less time on watching TV as compared with household viewers (Sreejith, 2015).Individuals belonging to Generation Y have been defined as more anxious than preceding early cohorts about work-life value than income, and are highly accountable, self-governing, and unconvinced. In spite of buyer power unequalled by any previous cohort, Generation Y is not as loyal with the brands. The people that belong to Generation Y shows the characters of individuals in midlife who, irrespective of their cohort, turn out to be less involved in brand stickers after they reach a particular stage of life (Laird, Harvey and Lancaster, 2015).

According to van Dijk et al., (2014), every individual has certain needs involving physiological, safety, love, self-esteem and self-actualisation. The analysis of needs for Generation Y has revealed that their needs are also different as observed in many of the Anglo nations. It is not a problem for this generation to achieve the physiological needs, safety and security, hence, such kinds of needs are never under the priority for this generation. Though previous generations has battled for even basic needs, this generation already achieved these needs. Hence, their focus is more on the other needs and they already had a comfortable start of their life. To be more specific about their needs, their focus is more on social and self-actualisation needs. Medical tourism is something which is directly related with the self-actualisation need of the Generation. Therefore, significant inclination for Generation Y has been observed for medical tourism.

People that belong to Generation Y grownup up in an age where spending has become a method of enjoyment with empirical features in a retail sector. Though various generations have continuously posed an encounter for sellers due to their unique features, Generation Y has shaped a more problematic contest since they are not as impacted by outdated media as preceding cohorts. Generation Y has been labelled as a paradox to most sellers and new advertising systems are being used that will more efficiently reach Generation Y customers. Demographic segmentation is considered to be highly useful in understanding generation Y customers. Though, it discloses nothing about their conduct (Giovannini, Xu, & Thomas, 2015). The present research is also conducted about the Generation Y, therefore, it was necessary to analyse this distinctive characteristics and this section has revealed that Generation Y is different from other generations, hence, it behaves differently than others. This makes it more interesting to shed light that how their consumer behaviour is different, therefore, this research analyses how their attracted more towards the South Korean tourism industry and the link with the medical tourism industry is examined in this research.

2.4.Inter-generational tourists motivation

In the above section, it has been analysed that both Generation X and Generation Y has different orientation and consumer behaviour. Moreover, it is analysed that beauty and medical tourism industry of South Korea is flourishing. This section specifically focuses on how tourism behaviour is different for Generation X and Y. This will help better to analyse the research issue.

For Generation X, it is the family life which has shaped their travel preferences. When they have to decide the travelling trip, its timing follows the school calendars. They tend to opt for those destinations that are near to their home. They need time for relaxation and unwinding and this is the biggest motivation of their tourism activities. This generation is from the particular time when online travel agencies were emerging hence they are comfortable booking their trip online (Bruwer, Gross & Lee, 2016).

According to Lesonsky (2014), this generation has spending power compared to all other generations. This generation is divided into two groups namely upscale and mass market. Upscale represents those Gen Xers that has a household income of far more than $250,000 on annual basis. They have the personal net worth over $1 million. These upscale Gen Xers make approximately ten percent of all of the Gen Xers. All of the Gen Xers that do not fit in the category of upscale are known as mass market and they still have significant higher incomes as compared to millennial or baby boomers. Overall, all of the individuals or majority of individuals who belong from Generation X group are optimistic and content about the future. They are satisfied or very satisfied with their present. They are also much confidents that they will be better off in coming few months. But this does not mean that they only see this world with the rose-colored glasses but they are also concerned about the hot issues like climate change, crime and their own health. Their high consciousness for health tells that their inclination for medical and beauty tourism is higher than other generations (Cooper, 2016). Even they are more conscious about their health compared with the baby boomers. They continuously seek for such solutions which could ensure their health. For this generation, it has been their priority to save money. Majority of Generation Xers still have the tendency to save more in future than their past. They save for their children’s education, to become financially independent, to have minimum tax, to provide property to their heirs, to buy a home and start a business. This does not mean that they only save money; they are not socking it all away. The results have showed that about two-thirds of upscale generation Xers told that they have plan of travelling in next twelve months. There were fifty percent upscale Gen Xers and thirty three percent of mass-market Gen Xers who have intention to purchase luxury goods when they will be on travel (Gardiner, Grace & King, 2014). This shows that this group has sufficient money to be spend, they also have tendency to spend of luxurious goods and services. Moreover, this group is also more health conscious. These characteristics of this generation make it more interesting to explore how these are attracted towards medical tourism products offered at South Korea.

Benckendorff, Moscard and Pendergast (2010;2009) mentioned that the behaviour of Generation Y is different for getting the tourism services. They tend to be more interested in independent and budget travel and hence they cannot be targeted by the tour operators. They have the attitude of ‘do-it-yourself’ owing to the budget constraints, confidence regarding the use of internet to plan trips and their childhood experience of travelling with the family. However, Valentine and Powers (2013) said that this trend is continuously changing and it is found that the highest number of travellers belong the group of Generation Y. They have also showed increased level of travel package purchases. The people who are in their twenties have more propensity to spend on the tourism and they still possess sufficient time to plan for their travel experiences. It is also found that significant amount of revenue of tourism organisations is always from the generation Y as they are ready to invest in long term tourism package not only with family but also with friends and for study purposes as well. Therefore, travel professionals has strong reasons to prefer the Generation Y as they know that this target group has the potential and it will be beneficial for all tourism service organisations to focus on them. Vermeersch, Sanders and Willson (2016) mentioned that most of the long haul and short trips are planned by the Generation Y. Karavasilis et al., (2015) said that this generation has love of leisure and luxury products, therefore, they are more likely to travel the new places for various rationales, from which medical industry could also be one of the reasons. However, this is yet to explore that whether or not medical industry of South Korea is attracting Generation Y to this tourism destination. Leask, Fyall and Barron (2014) has asserted that this generation known as Gen Y has the desire to see the world with their increasing age. Further to this, their demand for exotic luxury travel is also increasing. The medical tourism services like plastic surgeries are also part of the luxury sector, therefore, it is reasonable to propose that medical industry or services of South Korea attract the Generation Y tourists.

2.5.The role of medical tourism in attracting generation Y tourists

According to Jones (2010;2011), after the Asian financial crisis which took place in 1997, the medical tourism industry is rapidly increasing and it is one of important sectors of tourism industry. In the tourism research, the concept of beauty and health services has gained an importance theme. The number of people who are health and beauty conscious is increasing and now there are more people across the world who enjoy beauty and health services including attending spas, body pampering, improving fitness and adventure and receiving medical treatments. This type of tourism is known as beauty and health tourism which is about promoting and maintaining the beauty and highlighting the holistic wellness of mind, body and soul through traveling (Fallon, 2011). Buhalis and Costa (2006) stated that it is also found that while selecting any tourism destination, wellness and spa products are known to be important. Moreover, it is examined that prices of spa and beauty products are important determinant of attracting tourists towards any destination (Erfurt-Cooper and Cooper, 2009). The focus of this study is on exploring how medical tourism has become a source of attraction for generation Y tourists. As time is passing, generation Y is becoming more inclined towards the tourism activities. The above mentioned trends have also depicted that as the orientation of generation Y is more towards the tourists activities. Moreover, it is also found that their orientation is high for beauty products (Smith &Puczko, 2014).. However, the critical analysis of existing literature has led towards the conclusion that it is unexplored that how the beauty and medical tourism industry of South Korea is attracting the generation Y from other countries. The focus of present study will be on exploring this that whether or not the generation Y tourists of South Korea are attracted here due to its advanced medical tourism services i.e. plastic surgeries.





In this chapter, the research design is being explained. The purpose of this chapter is to provide explanation that how this research is being conducted and which methods are being selected for this research. This chapter also provides details about the sample of this research study where exclusion and inclusion criteria for secondary sources is specified.

3.2.Choice of Research Design

In this research, secondary research methods are selected to examine the role of medical tourism as an attraction for tourists who belong from Gen Y and visits the South Korea. Secondary data is being used which refers to the second hand data which is already collected by some other authors for some other purpose (Collis and Hussey, 2013). The rationale for selecting the secondary research design over primary research design is its time and cost effectiveness. Though, secondary research design also needs sufficient amount of time and cost, but it is relatively less than primary research design (Matthews and Ross, 2014). The research aim and objectives were alike that secondary data could be used to achieve them, therefore, secondary research design is selected. There is already ‘extensiveness of data’ which is about certain aspects of medical industry of South Korea, so the availability of extensive data motivated the researcher to use the secondary research design. The accessibility of secondary data was easier, as it could be accessed from digital library of UCB in an easier manner. moreover, almost all of the secondary reports were available free of cost, hence, the research is completed in a cost effective manner (Gray, 2013). Considering these aspects, secondary research design is considered more appropriate for analysing the role of medical tourism especially plastic surgeries to attract Gen Y tourists in South Korea.

3.3.Construction of Method

Though, secondary research data could be accessed easily and cost effectively, but it does not mean that every thing which is available in digital libraries could be added in the research. The construction of secondary research method is as critical as primary methods. Therefore, while writing and analysing the secondary data, various parameters were added in the assessment schematic system (Alvesson and Deetz, 2000). For this research, as per recommendation of Zikmund et al., (2013), authenticity was considered as the most important parameter. Therefore, whenever a relevant secondary data document or report was being found, it was being analysed for its authenticity. The authorship of the source was being check. It was ensured that only those secondary source or documents become part of this research which are published and created by the genuine and authentic sources (Bryman and Bell, 2007). Further to this, the next parameter of assessment schematic system was the credibility. The arguments presented by the authors were examined for the level of accuracy and sincerity. The arguments of authors were checked for amount of distortion. The purpose was to make sure that author has provided a true account of the situation regarding the medical industry of South Korea. All of the facts and figures were cross checked by searching the original reports from where they were taken. Only those facts and figures are added in the findings chapter which were proved credible and authentic. The secondary data is also examined for its representativeness (Collins, 2010). Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2010) stated that it must has to be ensured that sampling documents are representative of the reality. The sampling documents should not be selected without having any criterion. Therefore, in this research, sampling documents and material is selected on the basis of particular inclusion criteria. That inclusion/exclusion criteria is explained in the next section. In the assessment schematic parameters, meaning of the secondary data was also considered. That secondary data is used which was understood in an easier manner by the researcher (Cooper and Schindler, 2007).

Whatever the secondary data was being used was examined for the biasness. In secondary research design, there is one challenge which can have an impact over the usefulness of the research. This challenge is about the biasness of the views of the secondary data’s authors. If the secondary data is presented in a bias manner, it can have an influence over the credibility of the research. Therefore, the secondary data is properly examined for biasness. The author ensured that those arguments and views are used in the present research which are not bias (Ramamurthy, 2011). Additionally, in this research, as per recommendation of Matthews and Ross (2014), the researcher ensured to check the methodology of the secondary source as well. The purpose of this practice was to ensure the rigor in the present research. If the primary research methods were adopted by the author of secondary data, then it was analysed how validity and reliability is ensured. Only those research findings were added in this research which has clearly explained their primary research methods and which have proved the validity and reliability of primary data which is collected by them (Collis and Hussey, 2013). One of the criteria for examining the secondary data credibility and authenticity is about their theoretical underpinning which could be found from the number of sources which are being utilised for that research. All of the secondary resources are checked for the number of sources they have used in their work. The secondary data which was having references less than 5 per 3 pages were not considered for this research. Likewise, it was ensured that credible sources are used as the references (Alvesson and Deetz, 2000). The purpose of this practice was to improve the credibility and accuracy of present research which is about the role of medical tourism in attracting Gen Y tourists to South Korea.


The present research aims to analyse the role of medical tourism in attracting Gen Y tourists to South Korea. As it is based on secondary data, and there is already extensive secondary data available on this research issue. Therefore, it was not appropriate to use all of the available data without any logic and set criteria. Hence, in this research, sample of the secondary sources is selected on the basis of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. By inclusion criteria, it means that if some secondary source fulfils the set criterion, it will be added in this research for fulfilling the aim and objectives of this research. By exclusion criteria, it means that if some secondary source fulfils this criteria, that will not be added in this research for achieving aim and objectives (Atkinson et al., 2013). The below table represents the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Table 1: Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria


Inclusion criteria

Exclusion criteria 

Year of Publication

The secondary source must be published after 2006.

The secondary source should not be published before 2006.


The secondary source must be available in English language.

The secondary source in languages other than English could not be considered.


The methodology must be clearly explained and it must be based on principle of rigor.

Unsound methods are not used for this research.

Facts and Figures

The facts and figures must be authentic.

The unauthentic facts and figures which could not be traced back are not considered

Location of Research

This research is about South Korea, so location of study must be specific to South Korea.

The research studies which are not about South Korea and not considered for this research.





4.Findings, Analysis and Evaluation


In this chapter, the secondary research findings are presented. First of all, the overview of beauty and medical industry of South Korea is provided. After this, the specific secondary data related to medical tourism will be presented where it will be analysed how many plastic surgeries are offered to international customers and what facilities are used in South Korea for attracting the international tourists. Then, data related to both generations will be analysed where it will be analysed how many generation Xers and Yers are visiting South Korea for plastic surgery purpose. As it is clear that there exists intergenerational differences in medical tourism, so these differences will be critically analysed. At the end, it will be analysed how medical tourism industry of South Korea is using celebrities for attracting the international tourists/customers.

4.2.Medical Tourism in South Korea

The purpose of this section is to analyse the previous trends related to the medical tourism in South Korea.  According to Baer (2015),Seoul of South Korea is the global plastic surgery capital where it has more than 500 aesthetic centres. In terms of per capita, more of the surgeries are done in South Korea as compared to all other countries. As mentioned by Marx (2015),in 2014, there were 980,000 recorded operations which means per 1000 people 20 operations or surgeries are being conducted. In U.S., this ratio is 12 procedures per 1000 people. This ratio of highest per capita of operations is maintained since 2009.  Interestingly, half of these patients at South Korea are international tourists. This shows that international tourists come for getting benefits of the wellness and medical tourism. This finding of present research is consistent with findings of previous research studies which also reported that many times tourists visit certain destinations for getting wellness and medical services (Law and Au, 2000; Lehto et al., 2004; Rosenbaum and Spears, 2009).

According to Oh et al., (2016), there was a time when South Korea was considered as the world’s poorest nations and it was one of the least developed regions. To look beautiful and have attractive appearance was not considered important. The per capita income was less than $100 in 1961. But this country has developed remarkably as GDP per capita was $30,000 in 2015. As mentioned by Swanson (2015),1988 Seoul Olympics was one of the reasons that this country entered into good economic times. When people get more time and money, their spending towards beauty and health has increased and this gave rise to the ‘Korean plastic surgery boom’.  The Korean plastic surgery boom and economic wellbeing is expected in coming years as well. The spending by tourists have increased on such plastic surgery operations and treatments. This finding of present research is consistent with the finding of Svensk Handel (2010) who has mentioned that tourists’ inclination for more spending on plastic surgeries and other similar wellness and medical tourism is increasing.

According to Euromonitor (2016), the performance of medical tourism industry of South Korea is improving. Beauty as well as personal care has shown good performance in 2016, relative to year 2015. Now buyers are habitually powerfully reputation-centered and eager to participate in beauty goods to sustain their presence, therefore inspiring the beauty and personal cares’ productivity and this also motivates international customers to participate in medical tourism. Producers, chiefly domestic companies, are famous for making new techniques for beauty surgeries via continually carrying out innovations containing new assistances, which continually stimulate customers’ attention, both native ones and travelers. Particular groups like facial and breast surgeries have shown growth in the recent few years (Webb, 2007).

According to The Wall Street Journal (2016), as time is passing, consumers demand more convenience and they are becoming more beauty conscious and this steering the medical tourism industry. Lenient economic situations in South Korea in 2015 and 2016 saw customers enduring to prioritise their jobs for anxiety of losing them. Consequently, various customers constantly deal with hard timetables, counting constricted work schedules, though yet needing to devote more time on relaxation actions (Kim et al., 2013). This also enthuses their need for suitability in beauty and personal care as they required goods and services that can comfort their load in their routine life and could make them more beauty confident (Jung and Lee, 2009).

According to Anon (2015), it is found that domestic beauty and wellness manufacturers are having the lead position in the South Korean domestic industry. Domestic producers simply took up 4 out of the highest 5 positions in this industry in the year 2015, as they together had a share of 52% in that year. These provide complete good portfolios across the class as well as a range of services whose prices are between mass to high hence they meet the needs of all customer groups (Lee, 2016). Likewise, local companies are powerful on new good innovations and so constantly introduce new beauty surgeries with new advantages, throughout the year to tolerate consumers’ attention. The lively engagement of national and international celebrities as representatives of beauty surgeries also aid native producers to quickly capture customers’ attention, as customers try to achieve a look alike to their beloved superstars (e.g. K.pop) (Jones, 2010; 2011). This is also increasing the attention from the international consumers of medical tourism products. Many of the international consumers and tourists are showing inclination towards the beauty services especially surgeries which are offered at South Korea (Holliday and Elfving-Hwang, 2012).

According to Jung and Lee (2009), the use of sophisticated techniques in beauty services of South Korean are attractive for both domestic and international users. In year 2015, the focus of beauty and personal care goods’ producers emphasised on the combination of classy elements in products, chiefly natural herbal constituents. Producers were also spreading their victory in one type of good to another by focusing on special and successful elements (i-D Staff, 2016).

According to Arnault (2016), in the beauty and medical industry of South Korea, the continuous and significant growth has been observed. Medical and personal care is anticipated to achieve continuous value development over the prediction era, however at a lower rate as compared with 2015. There are different types of beauty as well as personal care services that are expected to attain maturity as they already have high dispersion rates in South Korea. This can result in decreasing the general growth potential for medical tourism products and services, but strong evidence for this decreased growth expectations are not found. However, the critical analysis also shows that consumers’ high consciousness is going to support the medical and personal care industry of Korea.

4.3.Generation Xers visiting to South Korea for Medical Tourism

As said by Rhee (2008), in the rapidly growing aging population i.e. Gen X of the world, the demand for personal care and beauty has not only increased in South Korea but also all over the world. The tendency to preserve the youth, population has become more beauty conscious resulting in an increasing growth of beauty medical industry in South Korea. The domestic producers of beauty products and services offered in South Korea are continuously introducing new application formats, innovative ways to apply the beauty products and incorporation of innovation technology in beauty services. This is resulting in stimulated interest in beauty and medical tourism at South Korea. According to Statista (2014), the market of medical tourism is quite lucrative and its size is continuously increasing. In 2014, its size was around 13 billion U.S. dollars. The below figure shows the statistics related to market of beauty and personal care products in South Korea. Moreover, forecast till 2017 is also provided where it is forecasted to be 15 billion U.S. dollars.

According to Marx (2015), there was a time when only facial surgeries were common in Gen X. But from last few years, a new trend has been observed where body contouring is increasing in this generation. Likewise, aged people are also more likely to be involved in breast surgeries to have a better look(Gan and Frederick, 2011). The proportion of anti-aging surgeries is also increasing in this generation. The old aged women are getting the medical treatments like face lifts and hair rejuvenation as there are many such institutions in South Korea who could provide these treatments in a cheap price (Grout, 2013). These findings of this research are consistent with the previous research studies where Morrison, Rimmington and Williams (2009) and Theobald (2012) reported that medical and wellness tourism is increasing for older tourists and they have become more beauty conscious. Hence, their inclination towards beauty and medical tourism is higher. As observed, the present research has also found this.The reported results of this research are also consistent with the findings of Cunningham (2016) who mentioned that Generation Xers are concerned more about their self-achievement and personal goals and such beauty treatments are also related with these characteristics of this generation. Therefore, they get medical tourism services to fulfil the personal desires.

Asians have differences in their body in terms of size of breast and face features. They want the right proportion and size of all body features.  It is said bySeo et al., (2015), that old Asian people visit South Korea for getting the beauty medical services because they know that South Korean surgeons are well-experienced. As the beauty surgery industry of South Korea is very well-established hence the expertise and experience of surgeons of this industry could not match with anyone else. Brown (2015) highlighted that Gen Xers are more likely to select the beauty clinics on the basis of their expertise and experience. They do not trust easily when it is about their health. Therefore, they prefer South Korean beauty industry to get plastic surgery because they know that surgeons of South Korean clinics have good reputation and experience. These findings are also consistent with the results of Cunningham (2016) where it was being highlighted that Generation Xers are more likely to trust anyone easily. So when they doubt the expertise of any destination’s service providers, they never select it. This is also observed in this research that the excellence of service providers especially the expertise and experience of South Korean surgeons attract this generation.

Hwang et al., (2006) has mentioned that Gen Xers visit South Korea for plastic surgery because of the fact that Korean doctors know how to create natural looking results. At this age, Gen Xers are not in position to have some unnatural looks; therefore, they trust Korean surgeons more than surgeons from any other country (Lee, Han and Lockyer, 2012). Korea is the hallmark for Caucasians due to its lesser cost and higher level of excellence. The facial bone countering and anti-aging procedures are above excellent in Korea and this is the reason that Gen Xers are attracted to this industry. Moreover, as mentioned by Stevenson (2014) another concern of this generation is regarding safety of the Korean plastic surgery. But the analysis of South Korean plastic surgery industry shows that there is a rigorous assessment process for Korean surgeons to be certified and qualified for this work. Moreover, there are stricter laws which restrict illegal or less trustworthy medical tourism agencies. Therefore, this generation has become confident to select South Korea for getting plastic surgery treatments(Bell et al.,2011). These findings seem bit inconsistent with the findings of Connell (2006) and Reisinger (2008) that mentioned that tourists select certain destinations for medical tourism only on the basis of its cost effectiveness. For example, U.K. and U.S.A are not popular medical tourism destinations because they have expensive medical tourism services. It was expected that South Korea is selected by tourists only on the basis of its lower cost services provided in this country. But this research has found that Gen Xers are selecting South Korea also because of the expertise of surgeons and safety provided by their service providers.Regarding the findings about the cost effectiveness of the plastic surgeries in South Korea, the results are consistent with the previously reported findings of Shevhenko (2013) where it was found that Generation Xers are very much concerned about the details of the product where they look over the functionality of products and they only prefer those good which are practical and less expensive. This orientation of this generation makes South Korea a perfect destination for this cohort to get the medical tourism services because both practicality and lower prices are offered at this destination.

4.4.Generation Yers visiting to South Korea for Medical Tourism

It is being mentioned by Baer (2015), the most popular surgery in Generation Yers is eyelid surgery. People from countries like Japan, China and Korea have mono-lid eyes which mean their eyelid crease is not prominent enough. This double lid of eye is considered as a sign of beauty in many individuals belonging from Generation Yers. Many of them idealise Western norms and they want to have the double eye lid like them. Therefore, they visit South Korea for getting the eye lid surgery. Such individuals who do not have a double eyelid line often look sleepy and tired; therefore, with their motivation to look fresh they get this surgery done from South Korea.

Ladies from this generation are more beauty conscious hence they often want to have a beautiful look and it is perceived that double eyelid can make them look more beautiful, therefore, they get this surgery done from South Korea (Chang and Thompson, 2014).As reported by van Dijk et al., (2014), this provides the consistent evidence that this generation’s physiological and safety needs are already fulfilled and they look needs which are beyond these needs. The highlighted findings about being more beautiful are linked with needs of self enhancement. Therefore, it could be said that present research found findings which are consistent with the previous literature.

As this generation do not have sufficient money with them, so they look for cheaper medical tourism services and South Korea provides them the access to cheapest eyelid surgeries (Choi et al., 2005). Consistent with the findings of Karavasilis et al., (2015), it is found that despite having limited money, they spend higher amounts of beauty and personal care products and services.Further to this, Holliday and Elfving-Hwang (2012) mentioned that it is possible to recover in the shortest period of time if they get this medical treatment. Therefore, this shorter recovery time is also a motivation for Gen Y tourists visiting to South Korea.

Other plastic surgeries like restructuring of the jawline have also become very common in South Korea. Lee and Hwang (2012) have highlighted that now this world has turned into a competitive market where people are pushed closely together.  The countries which have high population density are confronted with the images of each other. In many of countries like Japan it has become common that people who look better are in better position to obtain the advantage in the job market. Ashcraft (2014) mentioned that now, this is the time where photo is also added in the resume for getting jobs. Therefore, for this generation it has become need of time to get involved in such medical treatments which can allow them to get the advantage over others. Interestingly, now this is not the females only who get such medical treatments but it has become common for males, as well. As mentioned by Kim et al., (2014), in Asian countries, youthful looking is desired by everyone. Both men and women want to have a softer image of them. Therefore, they come to South Korea to have the medical treatment involving less angular jaw, prominent nose tip and double eyelids. These findings are consistent with the findings reported by Lissitsa and Kol (2016) where it was told that this generation has higher sense of individuality and this sense of individuality is provided to both males and females in their professional career when they get medical surgeries or treatments for looking more beautiful.

Larson (2003) mentioned that now more young people are attracted towards the plastic surgery. From Botox to the breast augmentation, the number of plastic surgeries in young women is increasing. This was not the case, few decades back but now plastic surgery is in limelight for Gen Yers. In this age of advanced technology, the definition of beauty is not same for everyone. Therefore, young women are more likely to go for cosmetic enhancements and plastic surgery to get their appearance as per their own definition of beauty. This could be considered consistent with the findings of Karavasilis et al., (2015) who has reported that this generation is more technology oriented and they are ready to take the luxury services. The medical tourism is also something which comes under luxurious services. Nevertheless, its cost in South Korea is less than other destinations; but still it is considered as a luxury service. Hence, to get the exotic experience of such highly sophisticated services which are good for their sense of individuality, this generation is more likely to be involved in these services.

Kim, Oh and Kim (2013) said that it is also found that in female which are of 20 to 29 years old are showing higher tendency for face-shaping cosmetic procedures. The names of such surgeries are hyaluronic and fillers and Botox and chemical peels. There is another trend which is observed in international tourists especially from American tourists that these plastic surgeries are not only the symbol of beauty but symbol of rich face. Now, these are attached with the status and this snob affect attached with plastic surgeries also motivate the young generation to get the medical treatments for enhancing their beauty. After getting such treatments, they feel product and sense of accomplishment could be observed in the patients. Now, these are considered normal part of life for many of the younger tourists (Chang and Thompson, 2014).

4.5.Role of celebrity endorsements in attracting tourists to South Korea

According to Jung and Hwang (2016), as per the current trends in South Korea, it is also visible that South Korea service providers use various techniques of advertisement to attract the visitors to get the medical treatment. For example, if someone is just taking the subway, he/she is more likely to observe a large number of advertisements of medical and beauty surgeries endorsed by the popular celebrities. They use such celebrities in the advertisements that visitors are automatically attracted towards such services (Kida, 2015). This depict that celebrities are confident without make up due to the medical treatment they have got, therefore, they look beautiful. Through this way, they attract the tourists and visitors along with the domestic customers to their clinics (Åberg, 2015).

Interestingly, Wang (2015) told that it broadcasts many of its makeover television shows around the world and this has become one of the core reasons for attracting the tourists from all over the world. In such television shows, famous celebrities endorse South Korean beauty clinics which give confidence to international customers and they come towards this region for getting beauty and medical tourism services.As mentioned by Lee (2015), there are many international customers who visit South Korea with the hope to get the Korean look. There come many international tourists who request South Korean surgeons to have fairer skin, slim face, double eyelid along with a prominent nose bridge. It could be observed that on Subway stations which are used by almost all tourists, medical tourism service providers have placed their advertisement which attract them to get these services (Ngyun, 2015). The below figure shows the example of such advertisement which also uses one of the celebrities of K.Pop.

Figure: Use of celebrities (K.Pop)

Plastic Surgery Ads in Subway Stations in Korea

Source: MedTrip (n.d).

From this, it could be observed that the purpose of using celebrities in their branding is to develop a positive image in the mind of customers. They promote their services on the behalf of social status and fame of renowned celebrities. Therefore, it could be said that findings of present research are consistent with literature where Kim and Jeong (2016) reported that positive brand image is developed by using the celebrities.

Ahn (2004) and Rousse-Marquet (2012) said that the Korean Wave including K-drama and K-Pop has played a significant role in the boom of this industry. Many countries around the world especially Asia are influenced with this Korean Wave. The surgeons of South Korea are expert in giving the ‘natural look’ and this is attracting international customers from all over the world. Kim (2014) said that there are many Korean celebrities that have gone through the cosmetic surgeries; examples include Miss Korea 2012 and Goo Hara from Kara hit girl group. The international fans of these celebrities also want to have the look like these celebrities hence the visit to South Korea to have the flawless faces like these Korean celebrities(Han, 2012). From this, it becomes observable that role of celebrities has remained crucial in promoting this industry.

Figure: Plastic Surgery by Miss Korea 2012

Image result for Miss Korea 2012  surgery

Source: Meng News (2012)

Stone (2013)has reported that younger generation is more influenced with these celebrities. They do look at what these celebrities are doing and they adopt their practices. As literature (e.g. research study of Sreejith, 2015))  has reported, Generation Yers are the ones who spend less time on TV, these findings regarding to be influenced with celebrities are inconsistent with the literature findings because mostly the celebrities influence them more on who spend higher time on TV.It is also found that not only South Korean celebrities are a source of motivation, but the international celebrities like Kim Karashian’s curvaceous body and oversized pout of Kylie Jenner inspires this generation to get the medical services hence they travel to those destinations from where they can access these services on the reasonable prices and South Korea is one of such tourism destinations(SBS, 2013). Moreover, the role of social media is playing a critical role in making such services popular. The official fan pages of celebrities stimulate the desire to get such services as celebrities continuously update about their beauty and secrets about their beauty (Ahern et al., 2011). These findings are consistent with the literature where Leask, Fyall and Barron (2014) reported that Generation Y lives in the era of prompt worldwide communication, hence, the information provided through social media is something which is influencing their inclination towards the medical tourism.

5.Final Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1.Summary of findings

The present research is also about this trend where it is observed that now more and more people are opting for plastic surgeries and they are selecting South Korea as their destination. The present research aims to explore the role of medical tourism in attracting the tourists to South Korea.

Conclusion 1: The medical tourism industry of South Korea is significantly flourishing and becoming attractive for tourists from all over the world.

This research has found that medical tourism in South Korea is flourishing. Compared to other tourists’ destinations, the spending on medical tourism section is higher in this destination. The number of operations related to plastic surgeries are also higher in this region. The doctors and surgeons of this industry have higher levels of the skills such that they can be trusted by all of the international tourists in an easier manner.

Conclusion 2: The medical tourism of South Korea is attractive for Generation X and Y.

This research has found that both generations X and Y are attracted towards South Korea for getting the plastic surgeries. Though, their motivation and orientation differs but overall both are equally attracted towards South Korea for medical tourism. These differences in motivation are useful to be understood by the destination managers of South Korea.

Conclusion 3: The international and South Korean celebrities has played a critical role in making medical tourism more famous.

This research has also found that in this increased tendency of medical tourism, the role of celebrities is quite dominant. K-Pop and K-drama are the significant in terms of influencing the tourisms to come to this destination and get the plastic surgeries like these celebrities. Hence, both Korean and international celebrities and media are acting as the tool to attract the tourists from all over the world.

5.2.Fulfilment of aim and objectives

The aim of present research was to examine the importance of medical tourism for attracting tourists of Generation X and Y. This aim is successfully accomplished in this dissertation. It has been found that both generations are attracted towards South Korea as they want to enhance their beauty through taking services from experts of South Korea. There were certain objectives of this dissertation and these have helped in achieving this aim. The first objective was to critically examine the literature about South Korea’s medical tourism. This objective is successfully accomplished in literature review and findings, evaluation and analysis where various sources about  medical tourism in South Korea are reviewed. The second objective of this research is to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    critically examine the previous studies about the tourism behavior of Generation Y and X and it is accomplished in literature review chapter where theories and models along with empirical studies about this research issue are examined. The third objective was to  examine whether or not plastic surgery industry of South Korea attracts the Generation X and Y tourists and forth objective was to examine the role of celebrity endorsement in attracting the tourists for plastic surgery in South Korea. It has been found in chapter four of this dissertation that both generations are attracted towards South Korea for medical tourism. The celebrities are playing an important part in attracting them, especially younger generation i.e. Gen Y.


5.3.Future research recommendations

In this research, there were few limitations which needs to be minimised in the future studies. This study wholly relies on the secondary data where no primary data is being collected to examine the role of medical tourism in attracting tourists to South Korea. Nevertheless, the aim is effectively accomplished with secondary data, but the worth and significance of the results could be enhanced further with the help of primary data. Therefore, it is recommended to future researchers that they should consider using the primary methods for examining the similar research issue. Likewise, this research has not used any sophisticated techniques or tools for data analysis, therefore, it is recommended to future researchers that they should be using more sophisticated tools for analysis as this will enhance the rigour of findings and results. Likewise, this research mainly relies on qualitative aspects, it is also recommended that future research studies must consider using the quantitative methods to increase the generalisability of the results.







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