Stats: Government Shutdown Having "Substantial Impact" on Leisure Travel

Transportation Security Administration agents help passengers through a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport
Transportation Security Administration agents help passengers through a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport. // Photo by AP Photo/Seth Wenig via Newscred

New research from travel marketing firm MMGY Global suggests that the government shutdown is having a "substantial impact" on leisure travel and will likely continue to do so. Sixteen percent of U.S. travelers have already cancelled a vacation due to concerns about the shutdown.

Among those who still plan to vacation during the next six months, 55 percent indicate that they will do so without hesitation, while 32 percent are planning to move forward but are monitoring the situation.

However, 14 percent are unsure or considering cancelling their vacation plans due to the shutdown.


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The leading concerns among travelers considering cancelling their vacations due to the shutdown are park/monument closings, delay in receipt of their tax refund, and safety.

Here's a closer look at the research:

Potential Impact Areas  of Government Shutdown Affecting Decision to Potentially Cancel Vacation Plans

US Travelers Considering Cancelling Vacation Plans

National parks and monuments or other government-owned attractions closed


Not sure what will be open at a destination


Potential delay in receiving tax refund


Safety concerns over fewer government employees in safety/security positions


Longer airport security lines due to fewer TSA workers on hand


Government worker/contractor and paycheck has been impacted


While thirty-seven percent of U.S. travelers consider themselves Democrats and 31 percent Republicans, 32 percent consider themselves to be independent or have another party affiliation, according to the MMGY report. More Republicans (64 percent) than Democrats (45 percent) are planning to take their upcoming vacation with no hesitation.

These results are from an online survey conducted January 10 – 11, 2019 among 400 U.S. travelers, defined as residents who are 18 or older and intend to take at least one vacation during the next six months.

Source: MMGY Global

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