Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the companies have tried to cash in by marketing tailor-made offerings. For example, the food companies came up with several “immunity boosters”. Fashion firms are offering bespoke face masks. There are “phonesoaps” which claim to disinfect your device.
Some of these products may not be harmful. They may be simply worthless.
Recently a Mumbai-based Gem Tours & Travel has announced a coronavirus vaccine tourism package for high net worth individuals (HNI) clients who wish to travel to the US for the shot.
“Be among the first to get Corona Vaccine: As soon as Pfizer Vaccine is officially published to sell America (tentative date 11 December), v r ready to get it done for select few VVIP clients…” the travel operator said in its package details through WhatsApp messages.
The package, is priced at ₹1,74,999, that comprises Mumbai-New-York-Mumbai airfare, three night/four days stay along with a shot of the vaccine. The story was first reported by The Times of India.
GST, visa costs and “ground transportation” would be extra, on a first come-first serve basis, the message said.
The travel firm is pitching the package on the back of pharma major Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE’s coronavirus vaccine that showed 95% efficacy in preventing covid-19 with no major safety concerns.
While Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use. It has announced to roll out the vaccine from early next week.
The packages are being booked on a first-come-first-serve basis without any advance or deposits. “We just need your registration with us with your name, e-mail, cell, age, any one of physical complications from above and a passport copy,” the firm said according to reports.
— Gem Travels (@Gem_Travels) November 24, 2020
The numbers provided in the WhatsApp messages were not answered. In the text message, the firm said it was unable to answer calls owing to the flood of queries. The operator said everything would be done as per official permissions of US health department.
“Everything arranged by us will comply with the laws of United States of America. We will only process the requests. Right now, no time frame can be committed. We are keeping the list ready so as and when America allows foreigners to come and take vaccine, we should not waste time. because every life matters,” the firm said in a message.
The tour operator has offices across Delhi, Gujarat, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru and was founded by Chairman Jyotin Doshi in 1983. Currently it serves over 45 countries across six continents.
However, Gem Tours & Travels is not registered with the Indian Association of Tour Operators, an industry body that helps in the promotion of travel and tourism in India.