Research into Chinese customers


The Ministry of Health and Welfare reports that the number of Chinese medical tourists in 2016 was 127,648, 35.1 % of all foreign patients.  27,646 Chinese tourists went to Korea for cosmetic surgery.

Professor Kim Eun-hee of Mokwon University has completed a small research project on Chinese people’s motivation and selection attributes concerning medical tours for cosmetic surgery. The study of 30 Chinese people- only half of whom were medical tourists- is far too small to be statistically accurate.

The study divided the motivation into three values: external (becoming beautiful, supplementing weakness.), surgery and tourism (convenience from taking trips and pursuing beauty at the same time, or having surgery in secret during travel), and internal (relationship, enhancing self-esteem, and improving the quality of daily life).

The analysis suggests people placed importance on medical superiority (system, technological level, doctors’ expertise and reliability), after-surgery services, the cost and the quality of the medical tour. It also suggests that some people get information about cosmetic surgery trips from friends before buying a product. So the choice is not a simple one of low cost or superior services.

Professor Kim: "Because of economic growth in China, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Korea for cosmetic surgery has increased steadily. To maintain the trend, it is the right time to work out marketing strategies for the tour programmes fitting their culture, customs, and other characteristics.”



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