Croatia Cannot Vaccinate its Own But is King of Russian Vaccine Tourism

By 10 November 2021
Croatia Cannot Vaccinate its Own But is King of Russian Vaccine Tourism
Croatia National Tourist Board

November 10, 2021 - As Croatia experiences record COVID-19 cases, an unlikely late-season hit - Russian vaccine tourism. 

Imagine the following:

A tourism country embarks on a major campaign under the slogan, Stay Safe in Destination.

The shiny campaign looked very nice, but there were a couple of flaws in the campaign.

Firstly, the measures - such as they were - were openly flouted in many areas, with visitors arriving expressing surprise at just how relaxed things were. 

And one might have thought that a high vaccination rate would have been a pre-requisite for a Stay Safe campaign to attract people, but not in this Kingdom, where vaccination rates were the 4th lowest in the EU.


Share of adults who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the European Economic Area (EEA) as of November 4, 2021, by country. - Source Statistica 

And yes, vaccination rates were a factor which played a part in the decision on where to travel, confirmed the nice lady expert from Expedia when I asked her at the Q&A session at the recent Days of Croatian Self-Congratulation in Dubrovacka Zupa last month. 

Now imagine the destination suddenly sees a rapid rise in cases, far above the EU average.

Far above.


Source Worldometers

With such alarming numbers, some countries might veer towards a strategy of lockdown or similar. But none would have come up with the genius of this destination. 

In a country where it can not vaccinate its own citizens, and with record numbers of new cases hardly being a top tourism draw, a new kind of tourism is launched - Russian vaccine tourism! Fly in to Croatia for your free EU-compliant vaccine. 

As Euractiv reports - Croatia now most popular vaccine tourism destination among Russians.

Simple Flying has more details on the packages available:

"Russian Express, a tour agency, is selling four-day trips to Croatia for vaccine tourism at the cost of 439 euros ($510). The tours have been running since September, and they are increasingly popular, Večernji reports.

"Croatia offers free vaccinations to foreigners. Russian citizens are getting vaccinated in walk-in vaccine centers in the cities of Zagreb and Pula with no appointment required."

Quite brilliant.