As New York City struggles to revive its economy from the devastation wrought by the pandemic, one key element is still missing: big-spending foreign tourists.
Before the coronavirus arrived, the city was flooded with record numbers of visitors from Europe, Asia and South America. They filled hotels, restaurants, Broadway theaters and museums, spending billions of dollars and fueling a surge of jobs for local residents.
Now that the federal government has decided to open the country’s borders to vaccinated visitors on Nov. 8, New York City is preparing its most aggressive campaign to lure them back quickly — in time to salvage, if it can, the end-of-year holiday season.
While visitors from across the United States have streamed back into the city, the absence of foreign tourists has left a gaping hole in the city’s economy because they tend to stay longer and spend more money.