PHILADELPHIA - Tourism in Philadelphia is still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The best days for Darnell Fassett’s business are blazing hot, so Friday's clouds and cooler temperatures were not perfect for hats, umbrellas and ice cold water, but he’ll take it.
“Past two or three months it’s been dead out here, but as you can see people are coming back and there spending money here and there,” Fassett said.
The spending will have to dramatically improve to make up for the body blow tourism in the Philadelphia region has taken from COVID-19.
"The industry had its best year ever in 2019 and immediately and suddenly, globally the entire industry just stopped," Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, said.
The sudden halt of tourism meant the loss over 70,000 jobs locally, according to industry observers, and resulted in a “lost economic impact” of a startling $4.1 billion from March to July.
The road back will be long.
“It will take us anywhere to 2023 to 2024 to recover back to the levels of where we were just in March,” Guaracino said.
Signs of life were seen Friday in a socially distanced line of tourists waiting for a glimpse of the Liberty Bell.
One couple from a small town south of St. Louis was happy to just roam.
“Our plan today was to just wander around and saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall the other day just going to wander on our last day in town,” Zach Roderick said.
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