AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

The Travel Industry is Profiting from People Travelling to the United States to get Covid-19 Vaccines

Mexican airlines | May 10, 2021

Tourists are flocking to the United States for Covid-19 vaccination shots, and airlines and travel providers are leveraging on the opportunity to market and develop services, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Though New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has stated that the city will soon give tourists coronavirus vaccines at mobile vaccination centers this summer as the city prepares to open, tourists, mostly from Mexico, have been visiting the US and getting vaccinated.

According to the Journal, tens of thousands of visitors from Mexico and other countries have already traveled into US states such as Texas and Florida to get a shot. Many states in the United States, including Texas, do not need proof of residency to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Thousands of affluent Latin Americans, including politicians, TV celebrities, and business leaders, had previously traveled to the United States for Covid-19 shots, according to USA Today. Many people were using charter planes or buses to get the vaccine.

Virginia Gónzalez and her husband traveled from Mexico to Texas, then took a bus twice to a vaccination center to get all doses of the vaccine. They covered a total of 2,250 kilometers to get the shots.

"It's a matter of life and death," Gónzalez said. "Officials in Mexico could not purchase enough vaccines. It's as though they don't care for their people."

According to the Journal, Mexico has fully vaccinated 6% of the population and only people above the age of 60 are eligible for a dose at this time. They have mentioned that some travel agents are advertising vaccines as part of their packages.

According to the Journal, one Mexico travel agency ad said, "Enjoy Dallas, Includes Covid Vaccine." Mexican airlines have also expanded the number of flights between Mexico and South Texas.

Another Thai travel company is promoting a vaccination package to California. According to a Thai travel agent, her organization has already booked 200 people on a vaccination trip to the United States. A 10-day journey to California with a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine costs each tourist $2,400, excluding airfare.

According to the Journal, vaccine tourism, especially travel from Mexico, is helping to revive the economy in many Texas cities, as travelers who book hotels shop locally and visit attractions while being there.

Spotlight

Despite significant advances throughout travel and tourism, many aspects of international travel remain encumbered by manual processes that are susceptible to fraud. For many years, aspiring voices from government and industry have advocated a vision of better travel experiences. A vision where outdated paper-based processes are replaced by modern digital processes that include strong identity assurance; and where passengers can travel from anywhere to anywhere
using just their Digital Identity1 But as both the travel and tourism sectors – and the technology that underpins them – have been transformed, it is important for governments to
begin developing their own strategies to deliver safe, secure and seamless travel for all international travelers, regardless of their mode of transport.

Spotlight

Despite significant advances throughout travel and tourism, many aspects of international travel remain encumbered by manual processes that are susceptible to fraud. For many years, aspiring voices from government and industry have advocated a vision of better travel experiences. A vision where outdated paper-based processes are replaced by modern digital processes that include strong identity assurance; and where passengers can travel from anywhere to anywhere
using just their Digital Identity1 But as both the travel and tourism sectors – and the technology that underpins them – have been transformed, it is important for governments to
begin developing their own strategies to deliver safe, secure and seamless travel for all international travelers, regardless of their mode of transport.

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