Hoping to add one more incentive for travelers to visit — and join the ranks of the fully vaccinated — some tourist sites are offering coronavirus vaccines to visitors.
Even as many countries struggle due to a lack of vaccine supply, some U.S. states and businesses have gotten creative with their efforts to encourage more residents to get vaccinated, offering everything from free doughnuts, beers or fries — to an entry in a $1 million lottery. Over the weekend, the Talladega Superspeedway let people who got tested or vaccinated take two laps around the track in a “race to end covid.”
New York City’s tourist destinations
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that New York City was planning to “put mobile vaccination sites where the tourists are” as part of an effort to bring visitors back. He named iconic, oft-visited locations such as Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park and the High Line as potential sites and said the city would use the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We think this is a positive message to tourists — come here, it’s safe, it’s a great place to be, and we’re going to take care of you,” he said at a news conference. “We’re going to make sure you get vaccinated while you’re here with us.”
New York City was able to expand vaccination to tourists after the state updated its requirements to allow all U.S. residents to get the shot. The city’s official guide notes that vaccines are available to all U.S. residents 12 and older and includes several links to search for locations and hours.
With the number of cruise travelers expected to be at nearly zero this year, Alaska is facing a significant tourism drought.
But those who do visit the state and need a vaccine can get one at the state’s four big airports starting June 1, according to the Alaska Travel Industry Association. Those airports are: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Fairbanks International Airport, Juneau International Airport and Ketchikan International Airport.
The state stopped requiring tourists to take a coronavirus test before visiting in February.
Officially called Bran Castle, the Transylvania site is offering weekend vaccination events through June 6. If the shot isn’t enough of an experience, the attraction is also offering free entry to the Medieval Torture Instruments Exhibition.
Visitors to Romania from several countries including the United States must self-quarantine for 14 days if they are not vaccinated or if they can’t present proof of a negative coronavirus test performed within 72 hours of departure to the country.
Six Flags Great America
The Illinois theme park — home to rides including Demon, Goliath and Giant Drop — is having mobile vaccination teams on-site the first weekend of June. The self-proclaimed “Thrill Capital of the Midwest” is also providing 50,000 tickets to the state for newly vaccinated residents of Illinois through education campaigns and local health-department programs.