The coronavirus pandemic has so thoroughly devastated demand for travel to New York City that it could be four years before the industry fully recovers, the city's convention and visitors bureau said.
NYC & Co. released a report late Monday highlighting the dire situation for the city's travel and tourism industry. By year's end, they say, 22.9 million people will have visited the city -- down 66 percent from last year.
The organization tentatively expects short-distance and regional travel to the city to pick up by next summer as vaccines roll out, but international arrivals may take longer to rebound.
"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 group said.
A more optimistic scenario pegs the rebound at three years rather than four, but only if business travel bounces back and allows for large events and meetings by 2022.