In Oct., the New York Times reported that the Taxi line at Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4, where Taxis have historically waited to greet arrivals has all but evaporated. Instead of a dozen cabs waiting for passengers, only a fraction of that number is there on a given day – and cabbies have been known to wait for hours before picking up a single passenger.
The pandemic and the global travel restrictions introduced in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus have decimated the American tourism industry, taking with it the livelihoods of millions of people. The U.S. Travel Association, a trade group that promotes travel to and within the country, projects that the United States will see the number of international visitors plummet nearly 80% this year, to only 18.6 million, compared to 79 million arrivals last year.
While that slump has been devastating for popular tourist destinations like Orlando and Los Angeles, nowhere in the United States is the impact more visible than in New York City, which drew more than 13.5 million international visitors last year. NYC has been for years the most popular big-city destination in the United States.
Now, citizens from countries around the globe – including the three most important markets for tourists visiting New York (Britain, China, and Brazil) – are banned from entering the country. At the state’s five regional airports, international arrivals were down by 93% in July, according to Port Authority data, compared to July 2019.
At Kennedy Airport, the number of arriving international flights fell 70% in six months, to 2,121 in July, down from 7,034 in January. In August, fewer than 400,000 international passengers arrived at Kennedy, down a whopping 89% from more than 3.5 million during the same month the previous year.
The city’s food and beverage sector has lost nearly 200,000 jobs since March. The occupancy rate for hotels is down to about 40%, a decrease from the more than 80% in August 2019, according to the hospitality analytics firm STR. Demand for Taxis and app-hail services in June was down by 71%, according to NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, though those numbers have begun to rebound recently.
In 2019, New York’s tourism industry marked its tenth consecutive year of growth, bringing in almost $7 billion in state and local taxes and supporting more than 403,000 jobs, according to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing agency.
Source: The New York Times