TIJUANA (Border Report) — They are being called vaccine tourists and about 300 of them are arriving in the city of Tijuana on a daily basis according to tourism officials in the city.
The president of its convention and tourism committee says visitors are arriving at the airport daily in hope of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which has become readily available in some border regions ever since the United States began shipping hundreds of thousands of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to cities such as Tijuana.
“In the last few days, airlines are reporting transporting passengers at 100 percent capacity, many arriving here from the interior of Mexico with the sole objective of getting vaccinated,” said Carlos Cruz Anchundia, the head tourism executive in Tijuana.
The ‘vaccine tourists’ are real according to Cruz Anchundia, who says all people need to show is some form of identification.
“This has motivated people from the interior of Mexico, especially young people between 20 and 30 years of age, to come here to get the vaccine because in other states they are barely doing 50 to 59-year-olds. So, in some areas, it’s going to take a while for them to get inoculated,” he said.
A man named Manuel Medina, who is from Guadalajara, admitted he came to Tijuana to get the vaccine.
“In Guadalajara, they are barely doing 50-year olds, I’m 37, so I got to thinking it was going to take a long time to get me vaccinated,” he said.
Medina stated he felt it was necessary to get vaccinated since his company sends him to Russia on business quite a bit.
“In Europe, you need to be vaccinated to gain access but the Russian or Chinese brands are permitted.”
Tourism officials estimate in the last few days, with hundreds of tourists coming in for the vaccine, the average stay is three days, translating into an economic boost for the area.
“They are paying for hotels, eating at restaurants, spending anywhere from 20 to 25,000 pesos during their stays,” said Cruz Anchundia.