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21 Jan 2019

Travel and attractions affected as US government shutdown bites deeper
BY Andy Knaggs

The National Park Service, which runs the Statue of Liberty and other iconic US attractions, has reportedly laid off 16,000 people during the shutdown

The National Park Service, which runs the Statue of Liberty and other iconic US attractions, has reportedly laid off 16,000 people during the shutdown
photo: Shutterstock

The body representing tourism in the US, has said that the ongoing shutdown of the US government is starting to impact the travel sector.

Worth an estimated US$2.4tn (€2.11tn, £1.86 tn) to the US economy, the travel industry accounts for one in every nine US jobs, according to US Travel – the organisation that represents that sector.

Now the longest shutdown in US history, the government row over border security in the south has had a trickle-down effect on the nation's economy, with longer lines at airports and famous attractions forced to close.

"It's now plainly evident that the shutdown is affecting air travel, and when that happens, damage to the overall US economy will shortly follow," said Jonathan Grella, the US Travel Association's executive vice president. "Any slowdown in the travel sector risks an economic cost that could be felt in every corner of the country."

There have already been reports of a number of visitor attractions being adversely affected by the shutdown, which began on 22 December 2018. The Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries, which includes the National History Museum, the African American Museum and the Air and Space Museum, have all been closed. It has also been reported that the National Park Service, which runs sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, has temporarily laid off 16,000 people during the shutdown.



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