Holiday Season Crowds Return to New York City

Crowds have returned to New York City for the holiday season as attractions opened up and international travel restrictions lifted, according to reports and local business groups.

The New York Mayor’s office said the crowds this year are expected to be the largest since the start of the pandemic, prompting officials to shut down streets around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall to traffic.

The US reopened travel to international travelers in early November, allowing foreign tourists to return for the holiday season.

This footage, captured in New York City on Tuesday, December 7, shows crowds gathered at the Rockefeller tree, Fifth Avenue and in Bryant Park.

According to the Wall Street Journal, retailers in the city said foot traffic and sales over the Black Friday weekend “met or exceeded pre-pandemic benchmarks set in 2019.”

Times Square Association President Tom Harris said Times Square has seen an increase in footfall over this holiday season. “Our pedestrian counts over the last weekend exceeded over 250,000 people each night, so we’re not back completely but we certainly have gone a long way since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Harris said Times Square averaged 365,000 people per day before the pandemic. With the return of Broadway, office workers and international travel, Harris said they expected the numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels “sooner than most expect.” Credit: Rhona Tarrant via Storyful

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