Rebound of Bay Area tourism revenue expected with removal of COVID test requirement, travel experts say

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 US,” 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 couple, who are traveling for their honeymoon, tell me they did not 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 at night they’re all closed,” Fittori said.
The new rules will not just make things easier for international travelers. They’ll also bring the US in line with other major partners.

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

“The US 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 Bay Area’s tourist revenue.

“The US 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 US,” 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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