Comptroller’s report details the dramatic impact that COVID had on NYC tourism

Photos are courtesy of @nyscomptroller
New York City saw a record 66.6 million visitors in 2019, but tourism came to a halt last year as COVID-19 gripped the city. The results have been devastating for the tourism industry and the city’s economy. On April 28, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report from his office on the state of the industry and how state and city leaders can offer support as tourism rebounds.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a report detailing the effects of the pandemic on New York City’s tourism industry.

“Almost 13 moths after the beginning of the pandemic, we’re seeing signs that New York City is inching back toward the pre-pandemic normal,” said DiNapoli announcing the report in Times Square, which was streamed on his Instagram page.

The report highlights that visitors to New York City fell from 66.6 million in 2019 to 22.3 million in 2020 while also estimating that the industry’s economic impact dropped from $80.3 billion to $20.2 billion. 

Tourism accounts for 7.2 percent of private sector employment and 4.5 percent of private sector wages. The industry supported 376,000 jobs in 2019 while employment declined by 89,000 jobs in 2020.

In 2019, the number of tourists visiting New York City had almost tripled since 1991, with almost half of the growth occurring in the last ten years. Hotels in Manhattan lost 46 percent of their jobs in 2020. The industry has the highest wages and the third-highest employment of any county in the nation. 

Tourism-related tax revenue accounts for $1.2 billion of New York City’s $2 billion decline in tax collections for fiscal year 2021.

DiNapoli expressed hope for the city’s tourism industry as more people get vaccinated and start to travel again.

“With more people across the world returning to work- getting into planes, trains and automobiles — we expect them to go out and to return to doing the things that they love.”