How US States are Recovering from the Pandemic in Tourism

August 7, 2021
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The tourism and travel sector has experienced significant losses in the US and worldwide since the Covid-19 pandemic started. In fact, travel restrictions aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus are still in place in the US. The federal government is making efforts to backtrack these losses with various incentives and programs, mainly aimed at encouraging domestic travel. We will take a look at how US states are recovering from the pandemic in tourism by looking at a few encouraging examples.

In 2020, international travel to the US decreased by 80%, with international travel and business spending in the US states reduced by a whopping 70%. As a result, many people working in tourism have lost their jobs. 

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many people are getting the vaccine so that they can normally travel this year. In response, states with developed tourism are following up this trend. As a result, they are making efforts to attract tourists and make up for massive reductions in jobs and revenue inflicted mostly on SMEs. 

New York 

Many hotels, restaurants, and famous NYC landmarks were outright deserted during the peaks of the pandemic. Following this, as many as 500,000 people working in the tourism sector in New York lost their jobs.

Luckily, this devastating image seems to be changing with the long-awaited “Summer of New York City” slowly approaching. In fact, the revitalization of tourist activity exceeded all expectations. The mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, reports that 400,000 people made a hotel reservation in a single week!

This is excellent news for the local economy, considering the fact that most travel restrictions are still in place. And the projections are more than uplifting. Tourism analysts expect that more than 10 million visitors this summer. Even though this only makes up about a half of visitors to NY before the spread of Covid-19, it will be 4 million more than what the city saw in 2020. In fact, Airbnb raves about having 62% of all rentals booked for longer than 30 days. 

Brooklyn bridge in New York

New York is the place to visit this summer!

And tourists are just as excited about the prospect of spending this summer in various places in New York. And it’s no wonder – the lockdowns have truly drained so many couples; a vacation to NYC is just the thing to revive a relationship. NYC has so many romantic things to offer to young people looking to reignite the flames of passion and excitement. After you explore all that jazz in Manhattan, you can maintain the spark in Brooklyn and catch up on all those romantic walks you were forced to miss out on due to curfews and lockdowns.


On the other hand, some city-dwellers are fed up with staying in urban areas for so long. These kinds of travelers are rushing to states such as Arizona. Here, they can recuperate and recharge their batteries surrounded by fantastic nature and wildlife.

And the tourism industry in Arizona is doing everything to attract tourists after a year of reduced visits, losses in tourism tax revenue, and increased unemployment rates. The federal American Rescue Plan should kickstart tourism in states such as Arizona. The financial aid is mostly directed at organizing various events designed to promote famous Arizona tourist attractions and outdoor recreation support.

Arizona cave at sunset, symbolizing how US states are recovering from the pandemic in tourism

Arizona’s nature attracts tourists despite the pandemic.

Another goal is to enhance tourism marketing. Creative marketing campaigns and irresistible travel offers should bring back both well-established and off-the-mill traveling with the increasingly popular mobile home campers.

However, if this kind of bohemian wandering in a camper is not your cup of tea, you will be glad to hear that the Visit Arizona Initiative is funding domestic and international flights. The aim is to enable travelers to visit Arizona at reduced prices. This means that tourists have the opportunity to fly to Arizona and enjoy its numerous natural landmarks.

Arizona State Parks & Trails have also received funding for park revitalization and, interestingly enough, golf course recovery! So, if you are a golf-fiend, Arizona has a lot of fun in store for you this year.


Hawaii’s tourism and hospitality sector has suffered many losses due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, Hawaii Tourism Authority President John de Fries notes that tourists are back in greater numbers than expected.

He links this positive outcome to a rise in vaccinations, pent-up demand, and major airlines’ re-established routes to Hawaii. In addition, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched an innovative marketing campaign in hotels and resorts all around Hawaii.

Honolulu panorama beach Hawaii

Travelers are rushing back to Hawaii beaches this year.

Namely, “Malama Hawaii” offers visitors the opportunity to head off the beaten track by volunteering with local non-profit organizations. This means you can make a positive change while enjoying the natural wonders and astonishing wildlife of Hawaii. This marketing strategy caters to people who strive to travel mindfully after a year of isolating lockdowns.

As you can see, Hawaii and many other US states are recovering from the pandemic in tourism quite successfully.

California, an example of how US states are recovering from the pandemic in Tourism

The harm inflicted on tourism around the country has not dodged California either. In light of this, the local government will forward $45 million to an advertising campaign supporting in-state travel. Aptly named “Calling All Californians”, this initiative should put California’s once-thriving tourism sector back on track. Aside from this, Visit California, the state’s non-profit tourism organization, has promoted six attractive vacation packages. This initiative seeks to instigate visits to luxury hotels in cities such as LA, San Diego, and Palm Springs. What’s more, you can also score floor seats at an NBA game. If you are traveling with your kids, you can look forward to affordable tickets to amusement parks such as Disneyland and Legoland.

Before the pandemic, tourism was a source of employment for 1.2 Californians and $145 billion in visitor spending. In 2020, both employment and spending were lower by more than 50 percent! Hence, the Golden State is doing everything in its power to revitalize its former glory just like other US states recovering from the pandemic in tourism.


Related Article: Smart Ways to Fund your Dream Vacation

Author Bio

Jay Atwell has been a travel journalist for 15 years. His expertise on tourism trends in the US has allowed him to write a number of co-ops for established news outlets and magazines. The three passions in his life are boating, golfing, and his family.

Chillwall AI are creators of a SuperHuman AI Concierge helping visitors to discover new travel experiences without searching.

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