The Times Square saxophonist was playing blues on Wednesday night, but he’s making way more money than he’s made in a long time.
After months of sparse audiences, you now have to line up to get a ticket to a Broadway show, but if you want a COVID test, don’t hesitate.
Charlie runs Brisbees Hot Dogs and remembers a time when there was no business in town.
“It was dead, there was nobody coming to Times Square,” Charlie said.
During the pandemic, tourism spending has more than halved in the city, but according to new research from the city’s tourism agency, New York is expected to see a 70% increase in tourism this year.
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About 56 million people will visit the city in 2022, including 8 million from abroad. And they spend.
“We have four shows in three days,” said one tourist.
“I’ve always wanted to come,” Samantha said.
Samantha came for the week with 11 people from Chicago.
“Throughout the whole pandemic when everything was shut down it just made us want to go out more and it just made you think about how much you were missing so the second we could we packed up and we left,” she said.
It’s also good to make money again.
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“There are certainly more people in the square than there have been in recent months, it’s nice to see them and it’s also been very nice for business,” Charlie said.
The city has seen the surge in tourism without tourists from China, which remains confined.
China was the fastest growing part of tourism in New York before the pandemic, so when they can come back, tourism could see another big spike.
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