Shutdown = Unhappy Holidays
Stuck in the US with nowhere to go? Prepare for a an unhappy holiday.
The Shutdown announced by the United States Federal Government on the night of October 1 has thrown the travel and tourism industry out of gear. Though air travel and provate overland travel has not been hit, destinations with employees on government payroll have been closed down. This includes national monuments, historic sites, national parks, state parks and national and state museums. While airport employees will continue to work, travellers are likely to experience delays due to short-staffing. Similarly, while US consulates and missions abroad will continue to work, expect delay in visa processing. Those planning to spend the long layover at a national park or museum may be disappointed, as most national parks announced closure following the shutdown.
The National Parks Conservation Association said on its website that "... all 401 National Park System sites remain closed. Over 21,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed, as many as 750,000 visitors will be turned away daily, and local gateway communities could lose as much as $30 million per day the national parks are closed."
Compounded budget cuts have hit the National Parks Service hard in recent years, with a budget reduction of about 13% in two years. The NPCA reported that the service was short-staffed by about 1,900 owing to budget cuts amounting to $180 million in 2013 alone.
Here is a series of images from across the United States in the wake of the Shutdown.