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New York City Tourism Update

As we wrap up 2021, we look back at a year full of challenges, but also a time with many green shoots of growth—the return of Broadway, the return of international travelers, the return of New York City tourism. Even in the context of the Omicron variant, there remains plenty of supporting data indicating an ongoing return for New York City. Despite the high-profile Broadway cancellations of the last few days, and the early end of the Rockettes’s run, a look at the Broadway League’s new resource for schedules shows the majority of shows going forward as planned. (And grosses have been up, while capacity holds steady.) Other data points include:

We remain optimistic for the prospects of a full recovery, beginning next year and really heating up in the spring. We wish all of our guests: future, current and past a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year. After all, New York City is ranked as the nation’s most festive city—more than double our nearest competition!

NYC Tourism Update

Although the Delta variant’s impact on the economy is drawing most of the headlines, it’s worth noting the good news for New York that’s out there as well. The city will not be competing with European destinations in light of new international restrictions. On the domestic front, the number one fall destination for lodging searchers? That would be New York City. NYC will be ready to greet these visitors—many coming for longer stretches than usual—as reopening news continues to post:

Twenty years ago New York City suffered terrible losses in the September 11 attacks. We have listed highlights of the city’s commemorative events below. Along with NYC institutions, City Guide remembers the lives of the victims, the strength of their families, and the sacrifices of first responders, recovery workers, and volunteers. Many of us questioned what kind of city would come back in the wake of so much destruction. As we remember this solemn anniversary, we should also keep in mind the outpouring of support NYC received, and the exponential growth of the city as a tourism destination in the years since. Although we are again facing challenges, we have another chance to show the world New York City’s extraordinary resilience.

COVID Restrictions Lifted

Day 473 and it ends. COVID restrictions have been lifted in New York. Yesterday the governor’s office made the announcement as the state hit the 70% adult vaccination threshold. This means no more social distancing or capacity limits—at least as far as the state is concerned—for sports, malls, gyms, movie theaters, or camps. Health screening is done. So is contact tracing. Despite the many losses of these past 473 days, we expect the city to move to a more celebratory stance, and the latest slate of launches supports that:

NYC Re-Opening Update

The situation for city tourism is changing in a New York minute. The latest guidance from the Governor gives us extended bar and restaurant curfews, zoo and museum capacity expanded to 50%, and movie theaters up to 33%. Sports and large event capacity moves to 25% as of May 19th. The city’s COVID rate is the lowest its been in almost five months. In addition, there are plenty of green shoots on the reopening front, especially for culture:

On the national recovery front, restaurant sales spiked last month to return to 2019 levels. The most recent retail sales report suggests the U.S. will see its fastest growth since 1984. Since the first of the year, Google searches for hotels are up 92%. With each passing day, recovery draws closer.

NYC Re-Opening Update

We are again overflowing with reopening news, as vaccine eligibility further expands and the CDC greenlights travel for those who’ve got their shots. Live theatre, music, and comedy have returned at least in part—even Jerry Seinfeld is back. The mayor has promised public health resources to get Broadway open by September. You can finally put a premiere back on your calendar: Diana: The Musical has set its opening night for December 16th. Headlines like City Hospitality and Tourism Prepping Spring Awakening and For New York City, Glimmers of Hope and Signs of Revival are popping up all over. Payrolls boomed in March, much of it thanks to hospitality and leisure. On the reopening front, there is much to be excited about:

NYC Re-opening Update

In conjunction with the waiving of quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors, improving weather, and the potential return of international tourists by mid-May, expect to see the sidewalks busier than they’ve been in months. Already, the headlines are keeping pace…

On the reopening front, there is plenty to be excited about:

  • The Hayden Planetarium reopens today.
  • The Loeb Boathouse Central Park returns Monday, March 29th. (Rowboat rentals are back as well.)
  • Circle Line relaunches April 1st.
  • Resorts World New York City returns to full hours on April 5th.
  • On April 5th, the 11pm curfew for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, and gyms will be lifted (it stays in place for bars and restaurants, although that will be reevaluated in late April).

As of April 1st, the Mets and Yankees are fair game for fans again. Starting next week, Knicks and Rangers fans can ease entry to the Garden with proof of vaccination, negative test, or a 30-minute on-site antigen testing option.

NYC Tourism Update

Hibernations are ending. We’re seeing green shoots of growth both figurative and literal. Among the notable openings and reopenings:

  • Frick Madison, the temporary home of the Frick Collection, opens Thursday, March 18th, in the former Met Breuer.
  • After a year-long pause, Balthazar is back on March 24th.
  • The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum reopens March 25.
  • The Loeb Boathouse Central Park returns Monday, March 29th. (Rowboat rentals are back as well.)
  • Circle Line relaunches April 1st.
  • Film Forum screens again April 2nd.

The first new post-COVID marquee is up on Broadway, with Thoughts of a Colored Man ready to take up residence at the Golden Theatre. Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin is still anticipating a 6-9 month wait for Broadway to return, but other live arts are starting up again—as of April 2nd, indoor performance venues can reopen at one-third capacity.

  • Park Avenue Armory has announced the launch of Social Distance Hall, with a season of new commissions premiering Wednesday, March 24th.
  • The NY PopsUp Initiative will start April 2nd with live arts on stages like the Apollo, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The SHED, and La MaMa.
  • Lincoln Center has Restart Stages, with 10 outdoor spaces starting April 7th.
  • New York State is testing the Excelsior Pass, which confirms COVID and vaccination status and may help fast track the return of big events.

Domestic travelers to New York who have both shots can now waive their quarantines, opening up more travel opportunities. No shock then that the most recent jobs report showed an unexpected gain of 379,000 jobs, most coming from leisure and hospitality. Spring is only 10 days away.

New York Tourism Update

As much as it may feel like 2021 is picking up right where 2020 left off, we are already in a different world less than two weeks into the year. Disturbing as the violence last week was—and the threat of more to come—we have seen the resilience of our institutions. Vaccines are rolling out across New York City, with protection newly extended to those 65 and over and those with preexisting conditions. Financial markets are optimistic—and not just the stock market, the bond market is reflecting confidence as well. The interest in travel inspiration is at a pandemic-era high, with July being circled as the hottest travel month of the year. Already we are seeing headlines like “The COVID Vaccine Travel Booking Spree Is On.” A more unified federal government gives hope for necessary relief and top-level organization, accelerating our comeback.

This week  Governor Cuomo has released plans for a New York Arts Revival. Drawing on the recent success of in-person attendance at a Bills playoff game, the strategy will involve easily accessed rapid testing, outdoor venues, new funding for artists, and pop up performances, slated to begin in less than a month. Stay safe for a few more weeks—good things are coming.

Explore the City and Save

We’re All In on NYC’s comeback. That’s why we’re part of All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways, featuring great offers across all five boroughs. There are hundreds of ways to save, plus a host of new health and safety protocols to help you confidently explore once more.

We are pleased to offer Stay Longer and Save More through March 2021. To redeem, please visit our booking page. See all the offers—and learn how to get up to $100 back as you explore—at nycgo.com/neighborhood-getaways.

New York’s Next Comeback

New York will be back. A thoughtful new report from the Regional Plan Association lays out the most likely scenarios of “New York’s Next Comeback.” There are cautions, like not mistaking short-term disruptions for new paradigms. The report includes strong evidence that density is not a disadvantage, even in coronavirus times; the deterioration of public services and infrastructure is our primary risk. Among the takeaways are five great reasons for betting on our region’s future: 

Urban density is still an advantage in the global economy

Diversity and talent still drive economic success

The New York region’s unique agglomeration of assets is impossible to replicate

New businesses and households will take advantage of vacant space and lower rents

The crisis has been a wake up call to address our structural problems

The RPA, which has advocated for quality of life improvements in the tri-state since 1922, has been through the city’s ups and downs before. The city will come back from this one and there’s an opportunity to come back stronger.