International journal of geography and geography education (Online), vol.24, no.40, pp.283-294, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Samsun has several unique opportunities for different types of tourism under the category of alternative tourism which includes coastal, health and thermal tourism, winter sports, plateau tourism, golf tourism, heritage tourism and etc. In particular, medical tourism is noteworthy in these types of tourism. But it is yet hard to say that people are not aware of this potential. Because, information about their experiences and perceptions of health travellers coming to Samsun in the context of medical tourism are incomplete or inadequate. The aim of the study is to analyse the current status and potential of medical tourism in Samsun by taking the opinions of international patients. This study is carried out in order to provide theoretical, analytical and finally concrete support for the development of medical tourism in Samsun. This research was conducted through qualitative research method. Within the scope of this method, data were collected through semi-structured questions addressed to international patients coming to Samsun for medical tourism. The data collected by these tools were analysed by content analysis. The study revealed that the most important factor for international patients to choose Samsun and the health institution is trust in Turkish doctors and health personnel. It was also found that internet is the most important source of information for international patients about Samsun and its hospitals. The satisfaction rate from health institutions in Samsun is high, and this is one of the most important reasons for the increase in the number of patients coming to Samsun.