Government Partially Shuts Down, Drawing Travel Industry Criticism

washington dcToday'a partial shutdown of the federal government - the first iin17 years - drew fire from Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, who urged Members of Congress and the Administration to avoid the federal government shutdown.

"Previous experience tells us that a shutdown unnecessarily disrupts economic activity in communities large and small that depend upon travel spending for employment and tax revenue. The closure of national parks and federal historic sites to millions of travelers—coupled with the general perception of an uncertain travel process—would do serious and immediate harm to the economy," Dow said.

Immediate impacts include a reported 800,000 federal employee furloughed and closing of non-essential services.

“While our country’s fiscal course is a crucial issue that understandably inflames passions on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans should reach an accord to prevent shutting down the federal government, " Dow said.

“Travel, our country’s No.1 services export and an industry that has added jobs at a rate three times faster than the economy as a whole since 2010, is particularly vulnerable to the perception that a disruption of services will make our customer experience go less than smoothly," Dow said.

"While we recognize that basic travel functions will continue, we are concerned that federal agencies will quickly be forced to implement shutdown policies that will damage the travel experience and derail long-term, bipartisan investments in our travel infrastructure."

"We urge our leaders to tackle changes to the federal balance sheet that will let our economic recovery continue unimpeded. The travel industry stands ready to assist with that process in whatever way we can," Dow said.