Medical tourism is a new form of tourism that has seen increasing growth in recent years as an economic activity based on
business services that link the two fields of medicine and tourism. Two of the most important issues to be considered in this regard
are the marketing of medical tourism and the advantage of the relative competitive advantage. Therefore, the identification and
prioritization of factors affecting the attraction of medical tourists might help to improve the quality and quantity of this new
industry not only in Iran, but also in the world. From the viewpoint of academic experts in the field of tourism and medical
tourism, physicians, hospital managers, and medical tourists, medical tourism in Iran is affected by service.

Factors Attracting Medical Tourists
Medical tourism to Iran has been considered for many years by patients from various areas, including the Gulf States. Due to Iran’s cultural, ethnic, and geographical proximity, they refer to border regions like Fars, especially the city of Shiraz, for its modern facilities. Recent years have seen patients from Azerbaijan and Iraq referring for medical services in the northwest of Iran, especially in the metropolis of Tabriz. In sum, Iran’s largest medical group of tourists are from the Persian Gulf States and Central Asia. Among the reasons for traveling to Iran are the high quality of treatment compared to other countries of the region and the appropriate tariffs for medical services and advanced medical services, such as advanced cardiovascular therapies; organ transplantation, especially kidney, cochlear, cornea, and liver; treatment of eye diseases;
infertility treatments; and cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty. One main reason medical tourists are attracted to foreign destinations for medical services is the long period patients must wait to receive medical treatment in their countries of origin. This is especially evident in western countries. Studies have reported the shortest waiting periods are in the European countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, and the longest waiting periods are in Canada and the United States. According to Kelley (2013), the most important reason medical tourists are attracted is the availability of more advanced technologies in the destination country. Other reasons are the better quality of surgical procedures, which accounts for 2%, and finally, rapid access to medical treatment, with 51% of the population choosing a foreign country as a tourist destination. It is also worth noting that the least important reason is the lower costs of medical treatment in the destination country.

Prioritizing Factors Affecting the Attraction of Medical Tourists
The first factor of attracting medical tourists is the cost of health services. Given that the cost of treatment in the United States is very high, patients travel to other countries for cheaper healthcare. The second and third factors in this area are hospital accreditation and the quality of healthcare .32 The first issue that comes to an American patient’s mind is probably the quality or the credibility of the hospital. Many American patients are attracted to hospitals which have the same standards and quality of health services as those in the United States. The last factor that Palvia refers to is trained and experienced physicians. He believes that a hospital without doctors and trained professionals cannot be appealing to American patients.31, 33 Another important factor in medical tourism is marketing. 34 International marketing is defined as the activity of large companies, in which products (services) move from marketers to consumers (users) in different countries. Because of the nature of tourism, a comprehensive definition of its marketing is somewhat difficult. Because changes and developments and, consequently, the prediction of future market conditions are very difficult and depend on many factors, including economic, social, and political conditions, tourism marketing is an interactive process between suppliers and consumers (tourists) in which goods and services are traded in an environment specific to the industry. Considering the specific features of tourism products, the role of marketing in this industry is of particular importance compared to other industries, and the use of effective marketing tools for a country or region is essential, because marketing can provide potential tourists with information about what the region could offer while encouraging them to visit. In Iran, due to the numerous potential sources of tourism
attraction, there have been many efforts to develop this industry. Among them are the comprehensive national tourism development plan and various comprehensive provincial plans that, given the strengths and advantages of each region, organize the general policies, the regional
and provincial strategies of tourism development in the country, and the framework and basis for other tourism development plans and programs. It is clear that the success of large-scale projects is due to the development of programs for the implementation and operationalization of anticipated policies and proposed strategies in these projects. Another strategy of tourism is that of urban tourism development. Cities often contain a wide range of historical and cultural sites, markets, restaurants, hotels, and urban parks. Many attractions and amenities of urban welfare have essentially been developed to serve citizens, while cities may be the gateway to the arrival and departure of tourists to a country or region and serve as a base for tourists traveling to surrounding areas.