New York City is a favorite Travel destination but the Coronavirus pandemic has devastated its tourism potentials. The safety norms defined to minimize risks of infection have taken a heavy toll of tourism related businesses. In the opinion of experts, revival could take up to five years. The industry faces loss of billions of dollars along with massive unemployment and recovery would be a time consuming affair. In 2019, a record 66.6 million visitors came to the city and 13.5 million of them were international. The city's tourism promotion agency predicts similar numbers could happen only by 2025.

Daily Mail UK quotes an official saying – “It's going to be a very slow build initially.” He feels the arrival of a vaccine would help in revival. Trials are on by different companies to prove the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, the virus has damaged various important sectors like hotels, bars and restaurants in New York City apart from the closure of Broadway. These had gone into lockdown since March and people are forced to remain indoors when they long for the outdoors to relieve boredom. Simple leisure options like taking in a movie or visiting a museum or an exhibition are taboo. It is a grim scenario. In the first three months, up to 12 million people visited the city but once lockdown began, the figures dwindled.

Tourism became a major casualty and it is literally gasping for breath. The trend is global.

Pandemic in New York City ruins tourism

There is a prediction of 38.2 million visitors in 2021 by NYC & Company. It is likely to increase to 69 million by 2024. However, the number of foreign visitors would be less. They are the ones who have the ability to spend the most money and if their numbers were low, it would not help recovery efforts.

Broadway is an attraction of the city and it employs nearly 97,000 people. They will remain without any source of income. Producers are in talks with labor unions to evolve methods of reopening. Daily Mail UK reminds many nations have banned international travel and imposed quarantine restrictions. These act as deterrents. In September, there was a prediction that 64 percent of restaurants in New York State could close due to coronavirus.

Many residents have fled New York City

Daily Mail UK reports residents moved out of the city over the last month. Their numbers are in thousands and the migration is because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the combined effect of rising infections, loss of lives and restrictions. One of the attractions of New York City is the tree-lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center on December 2. In view of ban on crowds, there could be problems for visitors to get a glimpse of the illuminated spectacle. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade of November followed by Christmas, and New Year Eve in December draw huge crowds. People might miss these events this year. Governor Andrew Cuomo already announced new restrictions on bars, restaurants, and gyms to check resurgence of the virus across the state.

Free-fall in New York City tourism triggered by the pandemic

According to The New York Times, the city is the most popular travel destination in the world. However, the pandemic sees near empty double-decker sightseeing buses around Manhattan. Crowds of tourists are absent on the ferries arriving at the Statue of Liberty. Some city hotels have very few guests, while some are housing the homeless to curb the spread of the virus. The sudden downslide in tourism related sectors have resulted in loss of jobs. As on end of October, more than 1.3 million residents were collecting unemployment benefits. This is not unique to New York City but is a global issue and the travel sector in innovating. Singapore Airlines converted two of its stationary A380 superjumbos to restaurants.