'Taste, shop and jab' is the tagline for a vaccination tour package promoted by My Journey Travel, a Bangkok-based travel agency, for Thai residents keen to receive their Covid-19 jabs overseas.
A key highlight of the 10D7N package to the US is, of course, a chance to receive a Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccination jab during the trip.
The package include visits to iconic West Coast attractions like Fisherman's Wharf, Big Sur and Solvang, alongside shopping jaunts at Premium Outlets in San Francisco and Desert Hills.
Open to Thai tourists with US visas, the package tours start from 175,000 baht (US$5,600) per pax for small groups of two to three people, with costs progressively coming down to 76,000 baht per per pax for bigger groups of eight to 10 people. Travel
insurance is also covered as part of the package.
However, excluded from the package will be airfares, Covid tests as well as mandatory 14-day quarantine accommodation upon return to Thailand. As well, the travel agency stated it will not be responsible for any allergic reactions arising from the Covid-19
Travel firms in Thailand are now mulling vaccination tours as more residents are exploring options for vaccination in another country, fed up with the slow inoculation drive amid the kingdom's third and worst Covid-19 wave.
The Thai Travel Agents Association president Suthiphong Pheunphiphop said such vaccination tour programmes are possible as the Public Health and Tourism and Sports ministries have not raised objections to the concept, Bangkok Post reported.
However, Suthiphong also urged outbound tour companies to be fully prepared and operate such tours safely and responsibly. As well, he also warned that there is no guarantee that every visitor would receive the vaccination shots in the US.
Guam: vaccination destination in the making
Reports have also emerged that American expats residing in Thailand are taking up vaccination vacations in US territories nearer to Asia, such as Guam.
As one of the few places in Asia Pacific with enough Covid-19 vaccines that are offered in the American market such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) is now weighing the possibility of marketing the island as a
“vaccination destination” for American expatriates living and working in the region.
The GVB expressed hopes that American expatriates and their families can combine a vacation stay on Guam along with their vaccinations.
As part of the concept, Guam tourism authorities said that these expatriates could holiday on Guam, stay at hotels and continue to work remotely for three weeks to a month if they're getting the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
Other destinations in the region have also unveiled similar initiatives. The Maldives, for example, earlier announced plans to offer Covid-19 vaccines to tourists as part of its 3V campaign, which stands for Visit, Vaccinate and Vacation.