Today I came across an interesting news item on “vaccination tourism”. A Delhi travel firm is arranging packaged tours to Russia for 21 days that will include two doses of Sputnik vaccine, besides normal sightseeing. First dose will be administered immediately upon arrival in Russia and the second on the 21st day on the date of return. The only requirement as per Russian rules is negative RT-PCR report.
The above is packaged differently and I must say, very timely, when everyone wants to get vaccinated but there’s not enough supply of vaccines. Those who can afford to spare a few lakh rupees can definitely avail of the above offer by mixing sightseeing with vaccination . However, medical tourism is nothing new and the fact is that our country has been a beneficiary of overseas patients coming to India fir treatment of serious ailments due to advances medical techniques and comparatively low cost. Many affluent Indians regulated fly to overseas destinations, mainly USA for advanced medical treatments, mainly relating to the dreaded malaise of cancer.
Also, various nations use their strength to their advantage differently. Dubai is flight hub for Indians and all tourists and Indians working abroad use Dubai as transit passengers. In fact, Indians must have played an important part in making Emirates amongst the biggest and most sought after airline in the world. Singapore is financial hub due to its efficiency and discipline. And there are many such instances.
However, we should appreciate the Russian line of thought that has commercialism mixed with compassion as also the Delhi based travel firm that has discovered a business opportunity to revive a sector that has borne the brunt of the pandemic.