International Travel to NYC: U.S. to Reopen Tourism

It's "a major turning point," in the words of U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. The Biden Administration is finally relaxing the rules that have kept international visitors out of the city for a year and a half. The new requirements are not too onerous—vaccines and a negative Covid test, with exceptions for kids too young to be vaccinated yet. 

chicago reopens broadway

Reopening night for Chicago. Photo: Daniel Rader.

We're all aware of how important international tourism has become. Foreign guests have driven the visitor growth of the last decade, at a much higher pace than domestic. The drop off in business travel is less likely to affect the foreign market as 83% of international travel to NYC is for leisure. International travelers stay longer and spend more. In fact, on average one international visitor is worth four domestic tourists. We'll all be glad to hear accents again. Other opening/reopening news includes:

  • Celeb chef Rick Bayless made his NYC debut on Monday with Tortazo NoMad
  • Effective Monday, Neue Galerie New York has extended its hours, Thursday-Monday, 11am-5pm (until 6pm for the shops; dining is Thursday-Sunday 9am-9pm and Monday 9-6pm)
  • New luxury wing The Avenue now open at American Dream mall
  • After three years of preparing, sushi master Tadashi Yoshida opens Yoshino in NoHo on September 23rd
  • Get in the autumnal spirit: Sleepy Hollow the Musical 2021 starts a limited run at The Players Theatre this Friday
  • Brooklyn without leaving Manhattan: artisan bazaar Brooklyn Pop-up will be on the Plaza at Rock Center on September 25th-26th
  • The Greene Space will reopen at full capacity starting end of September
  • Roomy music venue Brooklyn Made opening in Bushwick on September 30th 
  • New Korean food hall Afternoon coming soon to Williamsburg
  • Carnegie Hall 2021-2022 live performance season starts October 6th
  • Celebrate Tin Pan Alley Day 2021 in the Flatiron District with a free outdoor concert from stars of the American Popular Songbook, October 23rd
  • The NYC Winter Lantern Festival “Escape” returns to Snug Harbor Cultural Center for a third year, starting October 29th
  • "Illuminate the Farm" from the NYC Winter Lantern Festival transforms the Queens County Farm Museum starting November 25th
  • New York City Ballet will perform “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” starting November 26th
  • New exhibition Sharks opens at the American Museum of Natural History on December 15th

Federal vaccine requirements will reinforce the mandates on the ground here in NYC. The city's efforts at safety are resulting in an improved reputation, one backed by data from The Economist. A new Safe Cities Index is out and the number one ranked city in the U.S.? New York City. Evidence of the comeback is getting stronger, too: NYC hotels just had their best week since the onset of the pandemic.


moynihan connector high line

Governor Hochul unveils designs for new High Line—Moynihan Connector. Image courtesy Empire State Development, Brookfield Properties, and Friends of the High Line.




  • After almost 90 years, last Sears in the city is closing down in Brooklyn
  • Village fave Tomoe Sushi says goodbye after almost 40 years


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About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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