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Theme park tickets and airline rewards offered as incentives for vaccination uptake

Theme park tickets and airline rewards offered as incentives for vaccination uptake
June 2, 2021

Airline tickets, staycations, and theme park deals are among the potential free offerings from business sectors looking to boost vaccination rates.

With plans for Hong Kong’s Ocean Park to open soon pending approval for a swimming pool license, the Park is encouraging employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 while also offering theme park incentives for inoculated citizens.

Meanwhile, Qantas Chief Executive, Alan Joyce revealed details of his airline's plan to reward passengers for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 with incentives likely to include discounts, flight vouchers or 1000 frequent flyer points. Joyce also announced prizes of free flights for a year.

"We're going to offer 10 'mega-prizes', at least one for each state and territory, where you will get for a year, for a family of four, unlimited economy class travel on the Qantas and Jetstar network," Joyce told Nine's Today show on Monday morning.

In Hong Kong, a lack of trust in the government and concerns over rare side effects have led to a sluggish vaccination roll-out in Hong Kong. According to South China Morning Post, the take-up rate for the first vaccine dose was 17.6%, and the figure was 12.9% for both shots among the city’s population of 7.5 million people. As SCMP highlights, at a daily rate of 28,564 doses administered, it would take an estimated 10 months to cover 75 % of residents.

Chairman of Hong Kong Ocean Park, Lau Ming-wai told Hong Kong’s The Standard that the park will join forces with different industries in boosting the city’s vaccination progress and will provide incentives for inoculated citizens.

He added that when recruiting staff for the new Water Park, the park won’t list vaccination as one of the requirements for the moment. However, he pointed out that if the government requires all staff of water facilities to be vaccinated, he may have no choice but to comply with the regulation.

Lau also stressed that “the park encourages workers to receive vaccines and employers to offer inoculated workers a day off after vaccination.

However writing in the South China Morning Post, Edward Pinkney president of the University of Hong Kong Public Health Alumni Society, notes “the government’s vaccine task force has suggested that once Hong Kong is 70% vaccinated, masks might be unnecessary. While it is reassuring to see signs of progress towards concrete relaxation of measures, the continuing talk of vaccine ‘incentives’ shows a peculiar confusion about the role of vaccines.

Pinkney explained “an incentive is something offered to motivate someone to do something that doesn’t otherwise benefit them. For instance, an employee might be offered a bonus for working overtime if, without it, there is no rational reason for them to do so.

“This is not the case with vaccination, which carries inherent benefits, and it twists logic to suggest rewards such as lotteries or theme park tickets are needed.

“The primary benefit of the vaccine is it protects the recipient and their close contacts. Thus, there is no reason for authorities to explore unrelated incentives or rewards, any more than they should reward individuals for exercising, washing their hands, brushing their teeth or putting on a seat belt.”

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management. Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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