They switch from touring to music festivals to organizing vaccine tourism

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel agencies specialized in tours to music festivals in the United States and Europe – such as Coachella or Glastonbury – switched to a new business vertical: vaccine tourism.

The trips to the United States by those seeking to immunize themselves against the coronavirus, which has killed 3.3 million people worldwide, have meant an outlet for agencies that before the pandemic offered trips to museums, beaches or music festivals.

“We reinvent ourselves as a travel agency,” he told Forbes Mexico, Enrique Rébora, CEO of Live Tours.

Read: New York extends pilot vaccine program in the city’s subway

For 15 years, this Mexican company has organized trips for the most important musical concerts in the United States, Europe and South America, such as Coachella, in Indio, California, already suspended in two editions due to Covid-19.

Courtesy: Live Tours
Courtesy: Live Tours

Since last May, Live Tours offers trips from 600 dollars (12 thousand pesos) per person to Houston, in Texas, Nevada, in Colorado and Miami, in Florida, which do not have any type of restriction to access the vaccine.

Around 400,000 Mexicans have traveled to the United States with the intention of getting vaccinated against Covid-19, as reported by the Association of Culture and Tourism of Latin America. Some of them have turned to travel agencies that used to take them to Disneyland.

“This is to provide a solution and an alternative for many people who really do not have knowledge or have a hard time carrying out the process of making their trip. This is the same as a trip with characteristics or with a specific purpose, going to a concert or going to get vaccinated ”, said the director of Live Tours.

“What we do, according to the availability of flights and accommodation, is to help you confirm all the services and the appointment. What people need is people who can help them with clearer and more concise information and someone who can give them technical support and have no problems. That is what we offer ”, he adds.

The vaccination process in Mexico has been delayed since December 2020. To date, 15 million 261 thousand Mexicans have been vaccinated, with at least one dose, among health, educational and adults over 50 years of age, but only 10 million have received the complete schematic. This amount represents 7.9% of the total population.

Change Iztaccíhuatl for vaccine

In April, Ernesto Sepúlveda, a 46-year-old citizen of San Luis Potosí, postponed an escalation in Iztaccíhuatl, to get vaccinated against Covid-19, in Dallas, Texas.

Ernesto, turned to the travel agency Local Adventures, which in the past he had occupied to have trips with extreme experiences, to go to the United States to immunize. Now next is his wife; she will go on June 11.

Sepúlveda said that although he had an appointment to get vaccinated, on a quick trip to buy clothes in a shopping center, it was at a pharmacy of the HEB chain where he was invited to get immunized without further requirements.

Photo: Courtesy Ernesto Sepúlveda.
Photo: Courtesy Ernesto Sepúlveda.

“In my case, I spent 500 dollars (10 thousand pesos) on the entire trip, plane, lodging, the rental of a car. Although the agency helped me find out where I could get vaccinated, on a trip to a shopping center I was able to get vaccinated without any major paperwork at a pharmacy, ”he explained in an interview with Forbes Mexico.

“There were no people, it was very easy to get vaccinated, I came out happy and relieved.”

Photo: Courtesy Ernesto Sepúlveda.
Photo: Courtesy Ernesto Sepúlveda.

HeyGo Travel is another specialized travel agency that offers vaccination packages from Mexico to the United States for around 20 thousand pesos.

President Joe Biden liberalized vaccination for those 16 and older, which has increased the number of vaccine applicants.

So far, in the United States, about 154 million people have been vaccinated.

The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has asked Joe Biden’s administration for vaccines to advance the national immunization plan, so the US government has delivered 1.5 million doses to Mexico from the AstraZeneca laboratory.

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