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NYC Latest Tourism News
As we wrap up 2021, we look back at a year full of challenges, but also a time with many green shoots of growth—the return of Broadway, the return of international travelers, the return of New York City tourism. Even in the context of the Omicron variant, there remains plenty of supporting data indicating an ongoing return for New York City. Despite the high-profile Broadway cancellations of the last few days, and the early end of the Rockettes's run, a look at the Broadway League's new resource for schedules shows the majority of shows going forward as planned. (And grosses have been up, while capacity holds steady.)
NYC Is the #1 U.S. Holiday Tourism Destination and Other News
It's been another roller coaster news cycle for New York tourism. Omicron looks to be more contagious, but also more mild, so there's reason it think it won't be as disruptive as Delta. Travel restrictions were placed on parts of Africa, but it looks like they'll be lifted soon. The CDC has tightened Covid testing requirements for international travelers, but polls show Omicron fears won't significantly affect travel.
International Travelers Return to NYC and Other Tourism News
It's been a little over a week since international tourists were allowed back in and already we're starting to see the impacts. One promising note in an article on big bets by midtown restaurateurs is a report of a sushi counter already fully booked through Christmas—and that's at a place that just opened! It's all thanks to international travelers.
NYC Tourism Latest
City Guide congratulates Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, who will be inaugurated as the 110th Mayor of New York City. We are hoping an influx of strong leadership will guide midtown and the broader city through our immediate challenges. On the tourism front there are some encouraging signs. National bookings are on the rise ahead of the November 8th border re-openings. Covid concerns are ebbing. Allianz Partners recently analyzed more than 2 million roundtrip itineraries and found Americans' top choice for Thanksgiving weekend is NYC. City Guide will be ready for the arrivals. This week we are putting together new print editions of the magazine, which will appear all around the city starting a week ahead of Thanksgiving.
Reopening Borders and Other NYC Tourism News
The big story this morning is the announcement that land borders between Mexico and Canada will reopen to the vaccinated in early November. Canadians historically send more travelers to NYC than any other place save the U.K., and land borders will be easier to cross as no negative Covid test will be required. The Delta variant appears to be waning, with global rates of infection falling. Recovery is not overnight, but the U.S. economy is emerging with consumer sentiment, spending, and employment more resilient than it has been following previous surges. United Airlines's domestic capacity in December will be 91% of what it was in 2019. Their data suggests pent-up demand will be manifesting ahead of the holidays.
The Latest in NYC Tourism
The Governor is gone and the auto show is canceled. Again, lots of changes in a short span of time. Neither will have much downward drag on tourism's gradual return, with reports from malls and a major retailer that traffic has been ticking up in the last week. As the Delta variant intensifies in unvaccinated parts of the country, the reopening of international borders will be pushed back, increasing the opportunities for domestic travel. We do need to get through this period of hesitation, but on the other side there will be more and more draws for visitors to NYC.
NYC Openings and Tourist Updates
We knew there would be speed bumps on the road to recovery and we're experiencing a few now. Caution over the Delta variant, rising case loads in non-vaccinated parts of the country, the CDC's new recommendations, and the continuing restrictions on international travel are all hitches on our way. But they're just hitches. The city's attractiveness to visitors remains strong. The full lineup for the August 21st Homecoming Concert has been announced and it's phenomenal. Expect to see tourists flowing into the city for that event, in addition to many more upcoming returns and openings.
Hotel Openings and More NYC Tourism News
The Met is back over 10,000 visitors a day. Hotels may not be at capacity yet, but they're getting close. As a commenter put it on the Everything To Do NYC Facebook Group this week, "The city has come alive again and it's amazing!" Once again, the reopenings and returns continue to roll in.
From Times Square to Coney Island, All Kinds of NYC Comebacks
The city is coming back quickly, to the point where things like hover drones above Times Square seem once again to be just another part of the city's fabric. Nationally, the TSA set another passenger screening record last weekend. AAA forecasts travel volumes around July 4th will approach the record highs set in 2019. As the nation and city bounce back, we see more and more openings and returns.
NYC Reopening Update
This week's announcement by Governor Cuomo of a May 19th accelerated reopening will ripple out across every segment of NYC. We anticipate Broadway shows will begin announcing September dates as early as next week. Retail, food, gyms, amusement parks, salons, and houses of worship will all fully reopen within the constraint of 6 feet of social distancing (and that can be waived if everybody is vaccinated or tests negative for COVID). The outdoor social gathering limit increases to 500 on May 10th and the indoor social gathering limit increases to 250 on May 19th. The subway will run 24/7 once again.
Culture Coming Soon and More NYC Reopening News
The situation for city tourism is changing in a New York minute. The latest guidance from the Governor gives us extended bar and restaurant curfews, zoo and museum capacity expanded to 50%, and movie theaters up to 33%. Sports and large event capacity moves to 25% as of May 19th. The city's COVID rate is the lowest its been in almost five months. In addition, there are plenty of green shoots on the reopening front, especially for culture.
Best Places to Walk a Dog in NYC
New York may not be ideal for dogs even as it maintains its fame for towering skyscrapers, famous sites, shopping, and much more. In the eyes of many, it is the most attractive urban center in the country, but maybe not for canine companions—especially if you live in a cramped pad with no yard and limited space to play around!
What’s It Like to Travel to NYC Right Now?
Typically, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is one of New York’s busiest travel seasons. Now, in a world that’s been turned upside down with COVID, what would a New York holiday trip look like? Should you attempt to plan a trip to the Big Apple this year, or just wait? While no one can ultimately make that decision for you, there are some things you know to help you along the way.