As New York City continues on its road to recovery in the wake of the pandemic, NYC & Company provided travel advisors with a webinar detailing the latest health and safety initiatives, along with best practices on how their clients can make the most of the destination.
“New York City fortunately continues to experience an overall drop in COVID-19 numbers,” said John Marshall, NYC & Company’s director of tourism development. “As of Aug. 4, there were 564 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New York City, down from over 12,000 in early April.”
He noted that New York implemented “a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day working average, or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.”
To date, the list, which is updated daily, stands at 35 states and territories, Marshall said.
On Aug. 5, New York City Mayor announced COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints at key entry points in the city.
Travelers who have visited states or territories with high COVID transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler form and quarantine for 14 days upon entry of New York City. “Failure to quarantine is a violation of state law. Individuals who fail to quarantine are subject to 10,000 fines,” Marshall said.
Meanwhile, as the city rebounds, a range of attractions have opened, including the Bronx Zoo, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Empire State Building Observatory, Top of the Rock Observation Deck HUSH Hip Hop Tours Bike Rent NYC, Socrates Sculpture Garden and.
Sightseeing cruises that have resumed service include Circle Line, Classic Harbor Line, Horn Blower Cruises and North River Lobster Company.
The latest property re-opening includes the Plaza Hotel, the Crosby Hotel, The Surry and the Whitby Hotel.
Marshall suggested that travel advisors consider working with DMCs and receptive operators based in New York City that have “boots on the ground” in terms of the latest information available on health and safety protocols re-openings.
“Because places will be open with reduced capacity, advanced booking has taken new importance,” he said. “You’ll find now that advanced booking is now a necessity for some suppliers.”
For the latest updates on health safety, Marshall recommended agents and their clients visit the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Resources page on the New York & Company website.
He also encouraged agents to “build itineraries that put a focus on walking” and visiting [attractions] that are in close proximity to one another. “This will allow your clients to stay outside and reduce the amount of touch points they will have while exploring,” he said.
He added, “Lastly, be kind. Businesses are not at full staff. They’re doing their best to provide a high standard of service with less resources. Patience, gratitude and gratuities are more important than ever.”
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