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ABSTRACT

The role of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and destination image has been extensively studied in the tourism literature; however, from the perspective of medical tourism, it is yet to be examined. Therefore, to fill this gap, this research attempts to test the strategic significance of eWOM and destination image in intention to travel. Besides, the study also examines the moderating role of perceived risk in the destination image-intention to travel link. Structured pen-and-paper questionnaires were distributed to international tourists. The partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) technique is utilized to test the hypotheses. The results show that eWOM positively affects tourists鈥 intention to travel, and destination image positively mediates this relationship. Further, at a low level of perceived risk, the relationship between destination image and intention to travel becomes stronger. The current study is one of the few attempts to investigate the role of eWOM in the medical tourism industry, and thus, it contributes to both theory and practice from the perspective of medical tourism.

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Notes on contributors

Muhammad Farrukh holds a Ph.D. in Management. His area of research revolves around entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Imran Ahmed Shahzad holds a Ph.D. in management. His research area includes employee performance, firm performance, and employee behaviour.

Muhammad Sajid is a Lecturer in Finance at the Government College University Faisalabad and an Associate Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy. His main research interests include behavioural finance, corporate finance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and financial markets. His research has been published in Judgment and Decision Making, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Sustainability, and Education and Training, among several others.

Muhammad Fayyaz Sheikh is an assistant professor at Lyallpur Business School, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan. His research interests include executive compensation, corporate governance, corporate finance, decision making in family businesses, corporate social responsibility and behavioral finance.

Mr. Imtiaz Alam is currently a PhD scholar at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a retired government servant. His areas of research include leadership, organizational behaviour, organizational development and organisational change.

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