European” dreamed »: After 20 months of closing US borders because of the pandemic, New York is reopening its arms to visitors from the Old Continent, even though the Big Apple will only regain its pre-crisis tourist enthusiasm in 2024 Take.
On November 8, the United States finally announced its ” travel ban “For Foreign Visitors” little thing » From about thirty countries, including the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, China, India and Russia. As long as you have been fully vaccinated.
And in recent times, Manhattan Island – the world’s economic lung and international tourist magnet – has become much more vibrant, beginning with the withdrawal of Europeans.
Like Eglantine Lessere, a 40-year-old Bordeaux woman who took the first plane from France on Monday (November 8): ” New York has always been a dream. When I heard about the reopening of borders, I jumped at the chance and came straight », amid the famous decoration of Times Square’s giant advertising screen, she tells AFP all smiles.
Also Alexis Meniere, a 33-year-old farmer in Aveyron, takes a first walk between Broadway, 5th Avenue and Central Park, in the blue sky and beautiful autumn lights of the East Coast. State.
With his wife Camille, he felt ” very constrained “France has suffered from an epidemic of almost two years” wanting to resume and enjoy more normal activities » Out of the incredible urban mosaic formed by New York and its five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island).
Actually, ” Tourism is the economic engine From the largest city in the United States, said Chris Heywood, vice president of the city’s tourism board, NYC & Company.
In 2019, New York “hosted” 66.6 million visitors “Americans and foreigners represent economic burden” $70 billion ” and of “ 403,000 Jobs “Details for AFP The person in charge in a metropolis of more than eight million residents and whose municipal budget covers $100 billion.
Together ” 8.5 million international visitors “Hopefully in 2022, Chris Heywood recognizes that New York will need it” a few years to come back completely » In the global tourist competition against Paris, London or Rome.
, We count towards the end of 2024 to return to 2019 levels He prophesies.
New York has come a long way
In fact, the city has come a long way.
In 2020, New York was unrecognizable: Manhattan’s arteries deserted for weeks as a science fiction film, hospitals and funeral services were overwhelmed by a Covid-19 pandemic that killed at least 34,000 residents. were hidden and self-limited to their homes with only essential purchases for outings.
Rafael Delazari, a Brazilian sexagenarian who lives in Sardinia, has also experienced the pandemic and ” delivery In Italy. So he reserved his first foreign trip for nearly two years in New York and its legendary Empire State Building, happy to be “in the capital of the world.”
Hit by the pandemic, New York has since September imposed vaccination obligations on its visitors to its museums, theatres, restaurants and more.
Nothing in common for Eglantine Lasserre: ” We feel completely safe and we forget everything we went through and suddenly feel better ,