Rebound of Bay Area tourism revenue expected with lifting of COVID test req., travel experts say

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Rebound of Bay Area tourism expected with removal of COVID test req.
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The expected boost in tourism with CDC's lifting of COVID testing requirement will have a big impact on the local economy here in the Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of the final travel restrictions of the pandemic-era is finally taking off.

On Friday morning, the CDC announced it will end the COVD testing requirement for travelers coming into the country from abroad.

"The COVID test requirement was a huge impediment to Americans traveling abroad and to international visitors coming to the U.S.," said travel analyst, Henry Harteveldt.

The requirement will officially end on Sunday, and comes after months of pressure from both the travel industry and elected officials.

RELATED: US lifts COVID-19 test requirement for international travelers entering country

Many of whom are eager to get foreign visitors back.

At SFO Airport, the announcement was welcome news to Italian tourist Giordano Fittori and his new wife.

The pair, who are traveling for their honeymoon, tell me they didn't know about the testing mandate until the day before their flight from Rome to San Francisco.

"It was night in Italy. It was terrible to find one pharmacy to do a COVID test because in the night they're all closed," Fittori said.

The new rules won't just make things easier for international travelers. They'll also bring the U.S. in line with other major partners.

RELATED: Despite pre-pandemic feel, economic recovery slow in San Francisco

"The U.S. was one of the last holdouts in requiring inbound international travelers to get a negative COVID test," said Harteveldt.

The expected boost in tourism numbers will have a big impact on both the national and local economy.

International arrivals make up a significant portion of the the Bay Area's tourist revenue.

"The U.S. travel industry has cited that there is about $54 million that can be brought back into the economy by allowing the international travel market to come back into the U.S.," said Kelly Powers, of the Hotel Council of San Francisco.

One less thing to worry about, if you're packing your bags for a long overdue vacation.

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