New York State Tourism Officials Optimistic for Remainder of 2021 | Local news
Visitors go for an evening swim on the beach at Fair Haven State Park in Sterling in July 2020.
Kevin Rivoli, the citizen
Stephen Williams The (Schenectady) Daily Gazette
ALBANIA – State tourism promotion officials expect the industry to recover from a 2020 devastated by the pandemic. Reopening of large capacity venues and a new smartphone app that allows customers to discreetly inform a company that they are vaccinated or COVID-free.
At a virtual meeting of the Empire State Development Tourism Advisory Board on Monday, state officials discussed plans to make wider use of the Excelsior Pass program, which was pilot-tested at a few sporting events in New York City last month.
“Look, the priority is to reopen New York right now. We have to make it easy for people to come to large gatherings, ”said Council Chairperson Cristyne Nicholas.
“When we get out of this COVID season, it looks like it’s going to be a really great summer,” said Mark Dorr, president of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association, who made a presentation to the council.
Last March, the COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down the state’s tourism industry. Art venues, sports stadiums, museums and travel destinations such as the Saratoga Race Course have all been closed to visitors to prevent the virus from spreading. But this spring, when more people are vaccinated every day and virus transmission rates drop, arts and entertainment values will open on April 2nd with a capacity of 33%, and outdoor amusement parks will open on April 9th with a capacity of 25% open and catering events can accommodate 150 people as long as all users are tested.