Cuba, the United Arab Emirates and Florida are all offering a new twist on package-deal vacations, to say the least. Customers who opt for travel agencies' "all-inclusive" formula could, as a 'bonus,' get vaccinated against covid-19, sometimes free of charge.
"Vaccine tourism." This is the term being used to designate this new type of offer that is popping up in sunshine destinations such as Cuba, Florida and Dubai. The principle? To get access to a vaccination against the coronavirus, as countries around the world distribute their lots in different fashions and with different priorities.
These somewhat unusual offers are governed, however, by clear rules: stay for at least three weeks in one of the areas concerned. For example, that's the case for Cuba, which plans to integrate this offer into the "all-inclusive" travel package as of March, with the very attractive slogan: "Beaches, Caribbean, mojitos and vaccines, all in one place."
There, four vaccines are under development, but the Caribbean island promises to be able to vaccinate all its inhabitants by the summer of 2021, notably with Soberana 02, a vaccine that could be on the market in April.
Vaccine tourism is being seriously considered in Dubai too, although those eligible for the vaccine must currently present a resident card. True to its lush image, however, the city of the United Arab Emirates has a very select offer for Britons over 65 years of age: for around 50,000 euros, wealthy tourists can relax in luxury villas, travel in a private jet and get vaccinated.
Meanwhile the US state of Florida had offered to vaccinate tourists free of charge, on the sole condition that they were over 65 years of age. To date, some 50,000 people from outside Florida are believed to have taken advantage of this offer. At the end of January, however, the southern US state revised its offer: only those staying at least three months of the year will be able to benefit from the offer.
While the idea of including the vaccine in the "all-inclusive" packages of travel agencies may seem incongruous at first, it meets a clear economic objective: to revive the tourism industry in the areas concerned.