UPDATED: May 19, 2021 17:41 IST
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, to say that it wreaked an unprecedented amount of havoc would be an understatement. It changed the way we lived. The tourism industry suffered the brunt of it the most as international borders closed, and travelling around the world became a faraway dream for many.
VACCINE TOURISM TAKES INDIANS TO RUSSIA
As vaccine drives are in full swing in the country and many other nations, a new form of tourism has sprung up. Growing demand for overseas vaccine tourism is coming up fast in India, and it seems, currently, Russia is the destination of choice. Yes, you read that right.
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A Dubai-based travel agency has started offering a 24-day package tour from Delhi to Moscow. Under it, they will take travellers to Russia, offer them two shots of the Sputnik V vaccines, along with the certificates. A 20-day sightseeing package is also included for travellers to spend the interval between the jabs. The package is worth Rs 1.29 lakh and will cover everything, including the cost of getting the vaccines.
IndiaToday got in touch with the agency, and according to them, people are very interested in getting their hands on the package. They said, “The batch that is supposed to leave for May 29 is fully booked with about 28 passengers. The next batch will leave on June 7 and June 15.”
“If you are not vaccinated, we will take you to Russia to get your dose of Sputnik V vaccination. The 24 night and 25-day package include the two doses of vaccine, Delhi-Moscow-Delhi air tickets, 4 days accommodation in a 3-star hotel in St Petersburg, 20 days accommodation in a 3-star hotel in Moscow, return train ticket for Moscow-St Petersburg-Moscow and 24 breakfast and dinner meals. We will be taking 30 passengers in each slot. Only the visa fee of Rs 10,000 is not included in the package,” the travel agency added.
The package will also cover excursions around Moscow and St Petersburg and sightseeing fees in the country.
IndiaToday got in touch with the Russia visa application centre. A spokesperson said, “Indian citizens can apply for any type of visa at the moment and the visa centre in New Delhi is operational.”
As for the international flights from India to Russia, according to a Make My Trip spokesperson, “Indian passport holders can travel to Russia right now. There is no restriction as of now.”
However, given the current pandemic situation, visa rules and flight status are not fixed. It is advisable to check before embarking on any foreign trip at the moment.