LOS ANGELES: The United States has distributed around 111 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, totaling just over 44% of its population fully vaccinated, the highest count worldwide.
As health guidelines are lifted, California is celebrating the return of the outdoors and welcoming back tourists.
“As people are vaccinated and feeling more comfortable traveling, we’ve found that it’s not as a drive market-centric as it was in the last few months,” said Vanessa Williams, General Manager of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. “We’re starting to see people travel from other states. I think the exciting part is that we started to see a lot of movement out of the Middle East.”
An estimated 50% of summer tourism in Beverly Hills is comprised of Arabs, particularly in the luxury tourism sector. Between its natural beauty and iconic Hollywood sights, Los Angeles is in high demand for travelers looking for somewhere exotic, but COVID-19 safe.
“If I take safe practices, take the good precautions I think I’ll be good you know,” a Hollywood Blvd tourist told us. “But other than that you know the world? I really don’t know really don’t know. Can’t judge it.”
The return of tourist season also brings a financial breath of fresh air to Los Angeles. During the pandemic the tourism industry lost $1.3 trillion. While many furloughed hospitality employees have returned to their jobs, more than 120 million have not.
“California as a whole and in our cities,” added Williams. “There has been a very big push to support business and to actually get that messaging out that we’re open for business.”