December 2nd New Media Special Report: New York, one of the world’s most famous cities, is struggling to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic to the tourism industry. If the government does not intervene, the economy is not expected to recover until 2025.
According to the report, New York City is famous for its dense population and economic activity. It exists like a huge magnet. However, as the largest metropolis in the United States and one of the world’s top tourist destinations, New York looks so depressed on Christmas Eve. The boats leading to the Statue of Liberty are empty, and the double-decker buses shuttle between skyscrapers on Manhattan Avenue and souvenir shops from Times Square to Wall Street are also a miserable scene.
Souvenir shop owner Zaidi hasn’t seen a single customer for hours. A pile of T-shirts with the “I Love New York” logo in the store have been piled on the shelves for months, and so have the miniature replicas of yellow taxis. The coronavirus has caused serious damage to such small businesses. “We are fighting for survival,” Zaidi said unwillingly.
It is reported that last year, New York City attracted nearly 67 million visitors, setting a new record. However, the comparison after 12 months is very cruel. The epidemic has lost control and the number of infected people across the United States has led health departments to require citizens not to go out as much as possible during the holiday to control the spread of the virus. The ban on foreign tourists from entering the country since March has made the situation worse.
Eight months later, Broadway theaters are still closed. The visitor capacity of the museum is also limited to one quarter of the original. Hotel occupancy rate is only 20% of normal, and airport traffic has not improved significantly. In addition, New York also requires the quarantine of overseas tourists. This led to the suppression of the surge in tourists in August. This year’s tourist volume is expected to decline unprecedentedly, to about 23 million. However, this figure already includes 12 million visits to New York at the beginning of the year before the global pandemic was declared.
In other words, New York received only 10 million visitors in the next nine months. If you are lucky, New York may welcome another 1 million tourists between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The report said that between March and April, quarantine measures cost New York City nearly a million jobs. One third of the population has returned to work, but the unemployment rate remains at about 14%. As New York Mayor de Blasio said, “There are a lot of people suffering.” “We need stimulus measures and we don’t have much time left,” he said firmly.