The World Health Organization on Monday announced an expectation for the end of the "emergency phase" of the pandemic. Omicron will be leaving behind high levels of immunity as it ebbs. In addition, WHO called for all Covid-related travel restrictions to be lifted. This weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects most states to reach peak Omicron by mid-February. NYC is already ahead of that timetable. The positivity rate in New York is barely one-third what it was just a couple of weeks ago. Other promising data includes:
- Tourism's performance is better than it might look. The U.S. lodging industry's total revenue per available room in 2021 rose to 83.2% of prepandemic levels and hotel performance improved steadily over the year.
- Data from the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reflects global optimism. 61% of tourism professionals are seeing better prospects for 2022.
- Travel and personal time are valued more than ever. A survey from the Expedia Group on tourism’s outlook in 2022 shows a healthy 81% planning to travel within the next 6 months. 78% of respondents report being most interested in frequent short trips.
- Travelers will spend more this year and use more loyalty points. One takeaway of the pandemic is the prod to experience things while you can; pent up demand will be joined by larger outlays in 2022. Gen Z travelers have the most loyalty points stockpiled (61%), followed by millennials (55%) and Gen X (33%).
- City rents are skyrocketing.
- The return to office is gathering momentum—a recent survey shows 61% of employers expect Manhattan office attendance to exceed 50% by the end of Q1 2022.
The Collision Project, the campus-wide arts initiative at Brooklyn's Industry City, unveils a new large-scale installation by artist Jen Lewin. “The Pool” is an interactive environment of giant, concentric circles created from more than 100 circular pads, inviting visitors to walk, dance, jump, and play with the piece. Pictured: The Pool at Descanso Gardens. @jenlewinstudio jenlewinstudio.com.
Links of Interest
The Millrose Games, a New York tradition featuring track and field’s most recognized male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club, and youth competitors—is back for its 114th meeting this Saturday, January 29th at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights. Olympian and multiple NCAA champion Tara Davis hopes to take her long jump talents to great lengths. Photo by Kirby Lee.
- Moynihan Food Hall has launched
- Magnolia Bakery branch opening at Hudson Yards
- There is year-round ferry service to Governors Island; the island now welcomes dogs on Saturdays and has a new dog park to welcome them
- The Rink at Brooklyn Commons is now open
- The Progressive New York Boat Show opens at the Javits today, through Sunday
- The New York International Auto Show is back—April 15th-24th
- Governors Ball lineup announced, June 10th-12th at Citi Field
- 9,000 new hotel rooms opening in NYC this year
- Why Gen Z Is flocking to New York’s old-school hotels and bars
- NYC fails to make top 10 dirtiest U.S. cities
- The Washington Post looks at the tourist draws of Staten Island
- (And Pete Davidson and Colin Jost buy a Staten Island Ferry to convert to a floating comedy destination)
- Late billionaire Sheldon Solow’s secretive New York art museum will finally open to the public after major expansion
- Omicron making it easier to score Broadway tickets
- Hotels outlook trending positively
- Bookings are up and hotels show far more international movement
- Hotel industry shifting from pandemic to endemic phase of Covid
- Travel industry calls on Congress to help restore sector
- Marriott partners with robotics startup to reimagine guest rooms
- Brooklyn’s Court Street Regal Theater has gone dark
- 5 Napkin Burger Union Square ends its run
- Downtown omakase bar Ichimura at Uchū is done
Everything to Do Facebook Group Post of the Week
City Guide's Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC brings together more than 76,000 NYC visitors and superfans. People trade notes on best pizzas and bagels, Broadway shows, and which activities are worth the investment of time and money. Over 100 people took the time to comment on this post:
Suggestions included AIRE Ancient Baths, Red Door, the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, the spa at the Peninsula Hotel, Bathhouse in Williamsburg, Spa Castle in College Point, Bacarrat Spa (La Mer) or Shibuya at Greenwich Hotel, Juvenex, Body by Brooklyn, and Guerlain at The Plaza Hotel. A frequent response was SoJo Spa Club—the group is a great way to learn about new places. If you want a direct line to tourists and what they're planning, join us!