Government Shutdown Would Cost U.S. Travel Economy $140 Million Per Day
*Editors Note: This story has been updated from its initial version published on September 29 to include more accurate and up-to-date information. Meetings Today is following this developing story closely. Check this page frequently for updates.
If congress does not pass federal budget by November 17, the government will shut down, potentially costing the U.S. travel economy $140 million per day and over $1 billion per week according to a report released in September from the U.S. Travel Association. The report also found that the U.S. air travel system would be heavily affected by a government shutdown, potentially affecting travel ahead of the holiday season.
The report found that in the event of a government shutdown, the U.S. air travel system will suffer from flight delays, longer screening lines and further setbacks in modernizing air travel in the U.S., something that many Americans and those in the travel industry have been wanting for decades. According to the report, six in 10 Americans say they would cancel or avoid air trips in the event of a shutdown, but the looming holiday season might cause further constraints and delays in the industry. The majority of Americans agree that government shutdowns hurt the economy and inconvenience air travelers, and businesses and tourist attractions that depend on travel such as national parks, museums and local businesses in popular travel destinations.
Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) re-authorization that was extended in September is set expire on Decembere 31, 2023. The law gives the FAA permission to conduct important business such as collect fees and taxes–including on airline flights and airplane fuel–and set the limits for spending that money. If the law expires December 31 without renewal, the FAA will not be able to collect or spend funds, further compounding any travel challenges resulting from a government shutdown.
“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 in a press release in September. “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.”