A federal government shutdown is estimated to cost the U.S. travel economy as much as $140 million a day, according to new analysis for the U.S. Travel Association—underscoring the dire consequences of Congress failing to pass a short-term extension by September 30.
“Each day that passes will cost the travel economy $140 million, an unacceptable prospect that Congress must avoid before the clock runs out and the damages mount,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “The federal government is already failing the traveler—a shutdown would be further proof of Washington’s inability to find reasonable solutions to problems that affect Americans nationwide.”
Other government-related travel issues—such as lengthy visitor visa interview wait times and passport and Global Entry processing delays—further constrain travel growth and spending.
Survey: Americans Will Cancel or Avoid Air Travel in Face of Shutdown
During a government shutdown, the U.S. air travel system is hampered by more flight delays, longer screening lines and setbacks in air travel modernization.
A new survey from Ipsos and U.S. Travel further underscores these steep negative consequences: Six in 10 Americans (60%) would cancel or avoid trips by air in the event of a shutdown.
Further, a large majority of Americans—regardless of political party—are not in favor of a government shutdown, especially from a travel perspective. More than eight in 10 of all Americans agree government shutdowns hurt the economy (81%), inconvenience air travelers (86%), impact businesses that depend on air travelers (83%) as well as tourist attractions like national parks, museums and local businesses (83%).
Congress Must Pass Short-term FAA Extension
Coinciding with the federal budget deadline, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) authorization is set to expire on September 30. Congress has yet to pass a full FAA reauthorization bill, so they must pass a temporary extension of FAA programs. Inaction on an FAA renewal bill would further compound challenges for travelers.
U.S. Travel Association is calling on Congress to pass a short-term extension by September 30 and continues to call on the Senate to act quickly on a long-term FAA reauthorization bill.
“This completely avoidable situation threatens livelihoods and jobs across the U.S. economy,” said Freeman. “Ultimately, travelers, businesses and workers will pay the price if lawmakers fail to enact a stop-gap funding bill.”
View U.S. Travel's federal government shutdown fact sheet.
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.2 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation's economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.