Tourism would be affected by government shutdown

6:18 PM, Sep 29, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Out-of-towners bring billions of dollars to the District each year. In a government shutdown, vacationers wouldn't be able to get the full DC experience. The Smithsonian would close, along with national parks.

"I do tours at all national parks but if I'm not working, I'm going to be at home and it's going to hurt. It's going to put a big hole in my pocket. I won't be making money to support my family."

A New York bus driver, who wants to remain anonymous, brings visitors to DC by the bus load at least three times a week.

"If it pushes longer than a week or two weeks, it's really going to cause a problem. You gotta put food on the table and pay the rent."

Carlos Gomez, Tour director, "We are going to have to improvise. We'll have to think on our feet, pointing things out rather than letting people off and making the best of the situation."

Harry Faulkner, Pedicab driver, "By shutting down all the museums we're going to lose all of our clients."

James Dupree has been a bus driver for more than four decades busing people on historic tours and to national parks. He brings thousands of tourism dollars to DC while the city, he helps, tries to find ways to take them away.

James Dupree, Bus driver, "I hope they get themselves together on the Hill and look out for me and my family and every body else also."


The National Zoo would be one of those Smithsonian casualties that would shutdown if the government does. Some people who are visiting DC this week are keeping that in mind during their trip.

Dave Ward, Visitor from Annapolis, "These are some of the great features of what DC has to offer, the Zoo and others. By the government shutting down it takes away what families can do so it's of concern."

Daniel Smith, "We're going to try to get in as much as we can today."

Daniel Smith is here this week from San Diego.

"we scheduled this trip a long time ago not knowing what would happen as far as the shutdown. We're here and we'll take advantage of the moment."

Vivianne Pommier, Destination DC, "There will be so many places that you will have access to, that we don't want to frighten any of the families that are coming in."

Vivianne Pommier is a board member of Destination DC and owns her own travel agency. She says, trip insurance will not cover a government shutdown as a reason to get a refund.

"That's not going to happen. The amount of money you are going to have to spend for them to reissue you're ticket could run as much as 200 dollars a ticket. So far no one body has, hit the panic button and said to me we're going to cancel, we're not coming into Washington and not going on our trip. So let's all stay positive."

Here's what may or may not be affected in about 24 hours if the government shuts down:

-- Mail would be delivered
-- Social Security and Medicare benefits would continue to flow
-- New patients would NOT be accepted into clinical research at NIH
-- Food assistance programs could shut down
-- Americans would still have to pay their taxes
-- Active military would work but their paychecks would be delayed.

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