The United States and Canadian authorities announced on October 20, 2020 that the border closure between the U.S. and Canada would be extended until November 21, 2020. This marked the seventh time the extension was made. The trend is expected to continue until there is a sharp decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Individuals traveling for fun activities like visiting casinos will have to turn to online casinos like the world-renowned JackpotCity online casino, which has a popular Canada section. The U.S. government also announced that it was working closely with both Canada and Mexico to come up with criteria they'll use to ease the restrictions in the future.
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New York City, whose economy benefits well from tourism, has been hugely affected by the non-essential travel restrictions. Reports suggest that International arrivals have gone down by up to 93%, and the city's tourism industry is on the brink of collapse. Outside John F. Kennedy International Airport, the typical New York City yellow cabs that are usually lined up to take on arriving passengers have largely disappeared. The few that are packed there wait for long hours before they can pick up a single passenger.
Before the pandemic struck, NYC was receiving a good number of tourists from Canada. In 2018 NYC & Company reported that the tourism sector in New York City received one million tourists from Canada, ranking third in the top five international markets behind the U.K. and China. The upward trend was expected to continue before the pandemic struck.
When the travel restrictions were introduced in March to curb the virus's spread, the American tourism industry was decimated. As a result, the livelihoods of millions of people that depended on tourism were destroyed. While the crash has been distressing for top tourist destinations like Los Angeles and Orlando, it's New York City that has been hit hard.
Last year the city attracted over 13.5 million international visitors, with over a million coming from Canada. For many years NYC has been a top big-city destination for many local and international tourists. In 2019, JFK received close to 3.5 million passenger arrivals, while by July 2020, it had only received slightly over 250,000 international passengers. The situation is the same at the state's other five regional airports, with each recording lower numbers than in the previous year.
Despite marking its tenth consecutive year of growth in 2019, generating revenue of about 7 billion USD, the industry has plummeted in the last few months. The projections by the players in the industry are that it will return to normal only after it is safe to travel. However, the businesses will require massive support from the federal government to rise from the ashes.
There is a ray of hope as the government works hard to find a vaccine for the virus. Furthermore, people are hopeful that the restrictions will bear fruit, and the virus will be contained. The government is also working on criteria that will be used to ease the regulations to allow a phased approach in the lifting of some of the restrictions. It would be a great Christmas gift for the NYC residents to be able to receive visitors from around the world in large numbers once again.