MEDICAL TOURISM POTENTIAL OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: ATTEMPT AT CLASSIFICATION
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Medical tourism potential of CEE is currently not clearly identified due to the lack of data concerning the number of medical tourists in respective countries. The aim of the present study is to shed light on potential research topics in the field of medical tourism. A detailed analysis of scientific and consulting literature was used to identify the elements of medical tourism potential. The agglomerative clustering algorithm forms distinct groups of countries that are similar with regard to that potential. Creating the statistical synthetic measures allows one to construct the ranking of countries with respect to their potential regarding medical tourism. Four distinct groups of countries emerge from the cluster analysis. It was found that the countries from European Union (EU), which are characterized by higher economic indicators, create similar clusters and take the highest positions in the ranking. Surprisingly, the price level is not the top criterion determining the position within the classification. The obtained results fill the gap in the field of medical tourism in CEE and have implications for further research related to medical tourism. This classification could be a useful tool for the various stakeholders interested in the development potential of medical tourism in this part of Europe.
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