New York City visitor spending declined 73% during the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a $ 1.2 billion drop in tax revenues, according to a report released Wednesday by the State Comptroller.

According to the report by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, around 43.7 million fewer visitors came to the city in 2020, ending a 10-year growth period in tourism to New York City. This is a two-thirds decrease from the record 66.6 million visitors in 2019 in the previous year.

The decline – as governments around the world imposed lockdowns to stop the deadly virus from spreading and as New York City became the early epicenter of the pandemic – was sharp on just about every metric.

Visitor spending was $ 13 billion, 73% less than last year. The visitor economic impact decreased from $ 80.3 billion to $ 20.2 billion. Employment in the tourism industry fell by 89,000 or 31.4% from the 283,200 employees in the industry.

“The damage the pandemic has done to this industry has been staggering and it may take years for tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels,” the auditor said in a written statement attached to the report.

DiNapolis analysis comes when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $ 30 million marketing campaign last week to promote and revitalize tourism in the city.

Long Island is one of the goals of the campaign. The city, according to the travel agency, will encourage locals to take both day trips and overnight stays.

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Matthew Chayes, a Newsday reporter since 2007, covers New York City Hall.