The government of Uzbekistan has announced a unique plan that will see visitors paid 3,000 US dollars if they contract Covid-19 while in the country.
“The government is so confident that the new safety and hygiene measures being implemented across the tourism sector will protect tourists from Covid-19, that the president is prepared to put money where his mouth is: if you get Covid-19 on holiday in Uzbekistan, we will compensate you.”
Oh boy, this puts us in a pretty tough spot, doesn't it? $3,000 for a case of coronavirus actually sounds like a pretty fair deal to me, given my personal situation. Look, I'm no longer at the point where we all were in the very beginning when we joked about getting The Big C to get a couple weeks off work, but I also know I'm 27 with no underlying health conditions and would gladly risk / reward getting a small dose of virus for 6 months worth of rent. The problem for me in this offer is not that you have to get corona, it's the you HAVE to vacation to Uzbekistan. What in the world is in Uzbekistan?
So I googled it and found out that the answer is nothing except historic theology palaces and ruins. The #1 tourist attraction is a place called Samarkand. #2 is Bukhara. And #3 is Khiva. Huh? No disrespect to any of those heritage sites, but where's the 5-star resorts out on the water? Hey President of Uzbekistan, I've got an idea that might bring you some more tourism to the country. Instead of offering $3,000 to get people to come there, how about you just open up a nice casino resort on one of those beautiful lakes you've got?
Listen, I love a leader that will literally put his money where he mouth is, but Uzbekistan is barking up the wrong tree here. He just doesn't have the goods to compete in the world of travel right now. Bringing a knife to a gun fight. If people are going to risk it and take an airline half way across the world, they're going to do it to have some fun -- not learn some history. So I'm out on this one, but I hope other leaders of the world see this marketing pitch and take note. If this were even something as average as Virginia Beach, I'd be on Web MD looking up the long-term effects of corona and cross-referencing that with the long term effects of $3,000. If this were Hawaii, I'd be texting the boys right now and saying who wants to go? If this were Las Vegas, well the car would be packed and we'd be on the freeway.
Could you imagine if Vegas did this? It honestly would be a win/win for them. Most people would give that money right back, even if they cheated the system. You simply find an infected person to travel with and then EACH friend in your group gets $3,000 free to go to Vegas. So many opportunities to discuss. The #1 being putting it on Red as soon as you get there and getting $6,000 each to travel with.