New York’s tourism officials are pleased that the US will lift international travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign travelers in November. It’s a sign of hope for New York City since businesses have suffered without international travelers.
According to the White House, fully vaccinated foreign travelers can visit the US by November. Aside from proof of vaccination, they will have to present a negative COVID19 test plus their information for contact tracing.
Foreign Travelers’ Spending in NYC
For years, New York City’s economy was driven by international visitors. International travelers fueled hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that generated jobs in the city. Even if international travelers only account for one-fifth of the total visitors in New York City, they contribute 50% to the city’s tourism spending. That’s because they stay longer and spend more on shopping. Foreign travelers also account for 50% of the hotel room occupancy in the city.
Chief executive of NYC & Company Fred Dixon, which is New York City’s promotion agency, said that the decision is “a shot in the arm for the industry”. Among foreign travelers that can visit the US by November are travelers from European countries. According to an analysis by Baruch College, visitors from Britain accounted for more than 1.25 million visitors in New York City in 2018. That’s the most number of tourists from a single country. British travelers and those from the European Union accounted for half of the international visitors in New York City.
New York’s Tourism Officials are Optimistic
In 2019, New York City’s foreign visitors peaked at 13.5 million. The following year, it plunged to just 2.4 million. Most of which arrived before the pandemic started. And by March, the US imposed travel restrictions as COVID19 became a full-blown pandemic.
New York’s tourism officials are optimistic that the number of visitors this year will hit 4.6 million. However, NYC & Company believes that the city will take until 2025 before it can recover completely from the pandemic.