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This has a bit of perverse logic to it, but the travel industry has been the beneficiary of thousands of people – mostly from Mexico – coming to the U.S. to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The travel is mainly to states like Texas and Florida, the Wall Street Journal reported, because many states such as Texas do not require proof of residency in order to receive the vaccine.
That has allowed airlines and other travel stakeholders to expand their respective services and go to market with a new, unexpected way to entice customers.
One travel agency in Mexico is advertising “Enjoy Dallas, Includes Covid Vaccine” as one of its packages. Mexican airlines have also increased the frequency of flights between Mexico and South Texas.
And it’s not just proximity. A tour group based in Thailand is advertising a package that costs $2,400 – it does not include airfare but it does include the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It’s not for the economically challenged, however. Virginia Gonzalez told the Wall Street Journal that she and her husband flew from Mexico to Texas and then got on a bus to a vaccination site – twice, in fact, in order to get both doses of the vaccine.
“It’s a matter of survival,” Gonzalez said. “In Mexico, officials didn’t buy enough vaccines. It’s like they don’t care about their citizens.”