Donald Trump has shut down the US government in a bid to get Democrats to agree to fund the wall he wants to build along the US-Mexico border.
Already the longest US government shutdown in the country’s history, it’s left thousands of government workers without pay, caused major attractions to have to close their doors, and generally proven unpopular.
But now it could also be having a detrimental effect on the USA’s tourism industry.
In fact, Netflights is reporting that year-on-year searches for key US city destinations have dropped by an average of 23 per cent since the 2nd January.
The flight and travel search platform is pointing to the confusion from the on-going shutdown, as holidaymakers don’t know what to expect when they arrive, including which attractions they could still visit.
Attractions such as all of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums have had to close during the shutdown, while some National Parks are said to be suffering.
For example, searches for flights to New York have fallen by 25 per cent, to Washington DC by 33 per cent, and to Boston by 40 per cent.
Netflights also says the longer term softening of the Sterling against the Dollar means that the USA is no longer the great value destination it’s been, meaning Brits are unsure what they would actually be able to afford if they did go ahead and book a trip.
There’s no indication of when the shutdown could end, and Donald Trump has threatened to keep it going for years.
It’s not all bad news if you’ve already booked a trip though. It’s worth checking which attractions you had on the itinerary and whether they are still open – and Netflights has a handy round-up of attractions which are still open.
Andrew Shelton, Netflights’ MD, comments: "The combination of financial uncertainty and the reporting of a situation which has seen the President himself pay for a burger and pizza reception at The White House because of the shutdown, does seem to be playing out in people’s travel planning.
"They’re confused about what attractions are open and what aren’t.
"They’re also reading about long immigration lines, delays to ESTAs being issued and other travel-related government-run services being compromised.
"Although America’s loss is proving to the gain of other destinations, there are still plenty of great reasons to visit.
"Federally-operated National Parks and Museums may be among the most popular attractions in the US, but some still open thanks to the support of State agencies, privately owned facilities remain unaffected and there are hundreds of parks, beaches, sites and locations across the nation that are open – and some incredible deals available on flights to get to them."
Source: Read Full Article