In its annual forecast on travel and tourism, New York City’s tourism promotion agency predicts that the city will get only a third as many visitors in 2020 than it did in 2019 due to “uncertainty generated by the pandemic.”
NYC & Co. said the NYC travel industry started 2020 with a “very strong performance in January, February and early March,” but that the measures put in place to address the pandemic “put practically all leisure and most business travel on hold.”
“Given the uncertainty generated by the pandemic for economic recovery and consumer confidence in travel, the conservative outlook takes us to 2024 to top the 2019 benchmark,” the forecast said
NYC & Co. said the current level of visitors is 66% below 2019 levels. The international market fares far worse — down 80% compared to last year.
The group said it’s worth noting that international travel after Sept. 11, 2001 took four full years to recover.
“While the full recovery of global tourism will be gradual following the wide distribution of successful vaccines in 2021, we are bullish on New York City’s recovery and its enduring appeal to travelers. Given significant pent-up demand, we target regaining half our 2019 volume by end of 2021 and to be fully back three years from then,” said NYC & Co. President and CEO Fred Dixon.