It could take New York City’s COVID-battered tourism sector four years to recover from the damage caused by the pandemic even with a wildly available coronavirus vaccine, the city’s tourism arm projected Monday.
There were only 22.9 million trips to the Big Apple this year, a tally that includes out of town staff brought in by officials to help battle back the virus, according to the data from NYC & Company, the public-private partnership entrusted with boosting the city’s image around the world.
That’s just a third of the 66 million trips made by domestic and international travelers during 2019 — a level of business NYC & Company does not expect to return until 2023 at the earliest, which is when officials project there will 65 million trips again.
Tourism is among the biggest businesses in the Big Apple, accounting for an estimated $72 billion economic activity and generating roughly $7 billion in tax revenues in pre-pandemic times.
“We are committed to doing all we can to accelerate the tourism recovery timeline,” said Chris Heywood, the chief spokesman for the partnership.
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