Boston tourism industry hoping to bounce back with easing COVID-19 restrictions

Boston businesses are hoping to cash in when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in the city and across the state on May 29.

The Newbury Boston, a newly-restored and renovated hotel across from Boston Public Garden, started welcoming tourists, business leaders and wedding parties.

"We were scheduled to open in 2020," said Carlos Bueno, managing director for The Newbury Boston. "The phones, our guests and our associates have been very active. So far for this year, we have about 20 weddings already confirmed."

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is hosting a volleyball tournament this weekend, while the nearby Lawn on D is reopening for events on Thursday.

"Things are starting. The pent-up demand, you can feel it. It's there," said David Gibbons, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. "People want to get out. They want to be able to celebrate."

Boston has taken a big financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as officials estimate the city has suffered revenue losses in the billions.

"The loss of jobs, whether it's temporary or not, has been devastating to so many," said Martha Sheridan, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

While corporate and international travel will take time to recover, Sheridan says leisure travel is already showing signs of momentum.

"We're expecting that Memorial Day is going to be booming in the city of Boston," Sheridan said.

Sheridan hopes that the number of large-scale conventions in Boston, as well as the number of corporate and international travelers the city welcomes, will see a resurgence in 2022 or 2023.