Healthcare tourism in Mexico's northern borderlands: a spatial analysis in Ciudad Juárez

Authors: Tomás Cuevas-Contreras*, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Dallen Timothy*, Arizona State University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: medical tourism, borders, Mexico, healthcare, spatial analysis, clusters
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study examines medical tourism along the Mexico-US border in Ciudad Juárez (CJS). We use spatial analysis to understand patterns of health tourism in the US-Mexico borderlands. According to INEGI data, there are at least 6,212 dental offices and 6,211 physicians’ offices on the Mexican side of the boundary. In the case of CJS, there are 1,302 dental offices, which represent 20.96% of the total along the south side of the entire border. These healthcare services have become a crucial element of Mexico’s tourism product, and the government is beginning to devote considerable attention to developing medical tourism on its northern periphery to attract Americans across the border for less-expensive healthcare. This study aims to understand the quality of dental health-based tourism in CJS and the services offered at the border within the context of regional socio-economic development and globalization. In examining the spatial distribution and clustering of dental services, geomarketing specificities and theoretical implications are examined in the analysis with the help of GIS-based modeling. The concentration of dental offices is analyzed with the central core starting at the border crossings and subsequent areas of influence decaying with distance from the ports of entry. The study identifies the following zones: the Central Zone, the Pronaf Zone and the Waterfill/Zaragoza area, with core, first and second zones of influence, and an area of peripheral influence. The measured distances (areas of influence) are 5, 7.5 and 10 kilometers respectively from the city’s border crossings

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