When will tourists, jobs start to return to NYC?

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If people continue to be vaccinated at the current pace, New York City tourism officials predict up to 38 million visitors will travel to the city in 2021. That is up dramatically from last year, but still only about half the amount of people who visited in 2019.

New York City needs tourism to survive and the industry employs more than 400,000 people in the Tri-State area.

Tourism was one of the hardest-hit industries, but also an industry economists say could be the first to bounce back. They have expected an increase of visitors beginning this spring.

"Hopefully by the holiday season we will see a return of tourists, a return of all the restaurants, certainly a return of radio city music hall, Broadway shows, because that's what we really need," said Barbara Denham, a Senior CRE Economist with Moody's Analytics.

More than 140 New York City hotels shut down, at least temporarily, since the pandemic started.

The hotels that remain open currently have a 10% occupancy rate.



"We never thought in my life that we'd shut the doors and here we are 12 months later and it's shut," said John Fitzpatrick, a hotel owner who temporarily shut down one of his two hotels last year.

"It's New York City, it always comes back, but it needs help," said Fitzpatrick who's hoping to have enough visitors to reopen his midtown hotel this April.

The Broadway League is expecting shows to reopen by this fall, which all economists agree will help relaunch the industry.

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Eighty-nine-year-old New Yorker Bob Holzman received his COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he could, hoping it would allow him to get back to his favorite activity, dancing.



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