Like many businesses in the travel industry, travel agencies have been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. But several Thai travel agencies have found a creative way to remain in business: vaccination vacations.
Unithai Trip, a Bangkok-based tour operator, is offering Thai citizens “vaccine tours” of the US, during which the travelers can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Reuters reported that the agency offers vaccination vacations to San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York. The price of the trip varies on the time gap between the two doses of the vaccine.
Other tour companies offering a similar service include My Journey Travel with a 10-day trip to San Francisco for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and Udachi offers a 23-day “VACCation in Russia” to receive its Sputnik V vaccine.
The timing of these tour groups comes when Thailand is having the worst wave of the outbreak since the pandemic started, according to ABC News. At the time of writing, over 45 percent of Americans have received at least one vaccine, while fewer than two percent of Thai citizens have been vaccinated.
Thailand’s tourism ministry warned customers to look closely at the vaccination vacation packages because of varying regulations across the 50 states. Travel agencies cannot guarantee that all of their participants will receive the vaccine during their travels in the US.
Alaska announced that beginning June 1, it will start giving shots to tourists at the state’s major airports, the New York Times reported. Other tourists from places like Canada and South America have also traveled to the US to get the vaccine, as wait times in their countries are much longer between shots than the three to four weeks in the US.