Where can you go to catch a flight to anywhere in the world or see some of the most renowned attractions in the nation?
New York City of course!
But this diverse state once brimming with tourists and a vibrant night life is no longer what it used to be. In fact, we may never experience the Big Apple that way ever again.
The famous yellow NYC taxi cab is a state icon once seen whistling through the streets, picking up passengers as fast as they’d drop them off.
But now, in a dreary display of crushed hope, two cabs sit outside JFK International Airport Terminal 4, waiting for signs of life.
“I have no fares. There’s no flights coming in, no tourists visiting and there’s less people on the streets,” Jean Metellus, a 71-year-old Queens resident who’s owned his taxi since 1988, told the New York Times. “So there’s no business, but we still have to pay the bills.”
This is mainly because of Governor Cuomo’s strict travel bans and mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival – or get a hefty $2,000 fine if you don’t play by his rules.
Just as Hawaii bled its economy in order to squash residents’ fears of pandemic doom, so has New York.
But with accelerated crime rates and homelessness, New York City’s best days may be over.
Travel restrictions for New York were first introduced in March in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, New York’s tourism industry has experienced desolation like never seen before.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, the United States will see a drastic drop in international travelers from 79 million all the way down to 18.6 million.
And with 13.5 million of travelers going to the world-famous New York City last year, the impact is going to be ever more apparent.
Cuomo banned tourism from the biggest contributors – Britain, China, and Brazil – leaving residents who made their living from the travel industry sitting ducks.
Port Data Authority shows that the state’s international arrivals dropped a staggering 93% compared to July 2019.
The New York Times reports on other suffering industries in the Empire State:
“The city’s food and beverage sector has lost nearly 200,000 jobs since March. The occupancy rate for hotels is down to about 40 percent, a decrease from the more than 80 percent in August 2019, according to the hospitality analytics firm STR. Demand for taxis and ride-app services in June was down by 71 percent, according to New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, though lately those numbers have begun to rebound.”
How far will Cuomo allow his state’s glory to fall before he’s willing to let individuals decide their own risk with COVID-19?
The most popular areas in the city are already becoming unrecognizable, with half of the hotels in Times Square shut down, foot traffic at an all time low, and residents losing their way of life almost overnight.
One thing is for sure, no state can survive a dead economy.
The media has instilled an overwhelming fear onto the public, while making those who want to move towards a more “normal” way of life feel ashamed and malevolent.
The people of New York will have to rely on their own strength and resilience to recover from this trying time, because there’s certainly no help coming from their governor.