Tourism returns to the United States after travel bans were lifted.
From this Monday, tourists can enter the country with a vaccination test plus a negative PCR test.
The United States today lifted restrictions on tourist travel at airports and land borders. This measure has been in force for 19 months for “non-essential travel” and has returned airports to their usual bustle, without delays or significant incidents.
From tomorrow, tourists can enter the country with the vaccination test as well as the negative PCR test, which is equivalent to what most countries apply to their guests. The tourism sector has claimed that.
American Airlines, the largest airline in the United States and the world, has today scheduled more than 150 international flights, twenty of them transatlantic, and the rest of the month will operate more than 200 daily flights on as many routes, to increase to 300 daily to the beginning of 2022, according to company figures.
For example, the flights of American and its partners in the One World Alliance (which includes Iberia and British Airways) have tripled from Spain this week. They have increased six-fold from the United Kingdom.
NEW YORK WAITS FOR EUROPEANS
The arrivals terminals of New York’s main airport, the John F. Kennedy (JFK), returned to bustle this Monday with the arrival of a good number of travelers for tourism or a family reunion.
“Finally, we took months and months waiting,” tells Efe Sarab Alasadi, a dentist from Paris who arrived at Terminal 1 in New York on one of the first flights available from your country and carried more than two years without seeing his sister.
Despite the volume of travelers, Alsadi says that he has not suffered significant delays upon arrival in New York, where he has not been required to show proof of vaccination: “Everything has been requested of me when leaving Paris, not upon arrival. Everything has been very fast here,” says the Parisian.
Like Kim, a young woman who has come to visit her partner, whom she has not seen for months: “Everything went very well on the trip. The flight was full, but upon arrival, there was no problem”.
Hotels have also immediately benefited from the opening of borders. Bernardo Naval, director of the RIU Plaza hotel in the symbolic Times Square of New York, told Efe that there had been a significant rebound in reservations from European countries.
“Many who had reservations for later called to advance the arrival date. There is a lot of desire to go out and cross the pond”, says Naval, who emphasizes, however, that only as of January 1 will European tourism begin to feel strongly.
PEACE OF MIND IN MIAMI WAITING FOR EVENING FLIGHTS
In Greater Miami, as a vast area encompassing parts of two neighboring counties, Broward and Palm Beach, is known, tourism is the great generator of employment.
“We are very proud to have returned to Miami, delighted to be back. We are here to stay,” Captain Thomas Jahn, who arrived this afternoon on a Lufthansa flight from Munich with 293 passengers, told the media at Miami airport.
He added that it has been almost “20 months without a normal connection as if someone had pressed the stop button.”
“People want to fly,” Jahn added.
In 2020 Greater Miami received 11.6 million visitors, of which 7.9 million stayed at least one night, which means a decrease of 52% compared to 201
Greg Chin, Communications Director at Miami International Airport (MIA), told Efe that 5,000 more passengers are expected today than last Monday, mainly from Europe.
Until August 31, the last month for which there is official data, 7.73 million passengers had passed through MIA, a 43.94% increase compared to the same period in 2020.
Only in August, 1.29 million arrived, which is 552.3% more than in August 2020, when Florida experienced one of the worst phases of the incidence of covid-19, with cases and deaths through the roof.
A VITAL SECTOR
According to the Travel Association of the United States, the closure of the borders by the coronavirus has meant the loss of 300,000 million dollars of income that can be counted as exports, in addition to causing the loss of more than a million jobs associated with the sector of travels and tourism.
The United States is the third most visited country globally in the number of travelers (76 million in 2019, behind France and Spain). Still, it is the first in terms of foreign exchange earnings from tourism, with 214,000 million dollars in 2019, with a significant difference over the following, according to the World Tourism Organization figures.
The US air closure affected 33 countries – including the 26 of the Schengen area and such lucrative markets as China, India, and Brazil – which represent only 17% of countries in the world but represent 53% of all visitors received by the United States.
In addition, the opening of the land border with the two neighbors to the north (Canada) and the south (Mexico), the two main tourist markets for the United States, will bring significant relief to this sector on the eve of the Christmas season, season-high.