12 July 2024

Thai tourism authorities have warned travel agents not to use the term “vaccine tour” in their advertisements, even though such tour programs are allowed, and urged them to list all the details of their tours for their customers’ information, to avoid misunderstandings.

Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Anan Wongbenjarat, said yesterday (Wednesday) that tour operators cannot use the word “vaccine” as a marketing tool and advised them to use the words “health tour” instead.

He said details, particularly the vaccination process, must be provided and that it is necessary to make clear to customers that travel insurance will not cover health conditions and allergic reactions related to vaccines received.

The remarks follow the Department of Tourism’s meeting with representatives of tour operators yesterday, as some had advertised tour packages which include a COVID-19 vaccination in the destination country.

Meanwhile, President of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) Suthiphong Pheunphiphop, said that four tour operators have already promoted their “vaccine tours”. One of them is a member of the association.

Some of the tours are for travel to the United States and Serbia, costing around 175,000-200,000 baht per person, and customers have to purchase travel insurance in that country. The association also found that there might be tour packages to the Maldives and Dubai.

The association also held an online meeting with all of its 800 members to emphasise that they must comply with the regulations, in accordance with the Tourism Business and Guide Act.