As I am writing this, the U.S. federal government is in its 26th day of shutdown—the longest on record in U.S. history. If you have been following the news, you know that personnel essential to the smooth flow of tourists to and within the U.S. have been impacted greatly. Last week, Brian Crawford, AHLA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, urged the Congress and the Administration to re-open the federal government and move forward on important issues of the day.
The shutdown is of course not good for anyone in our industry. I visited the EPA ENERGY STAR website this morning and all the resources so important to hoteliers are inaccessible. The message on the site: “The U.S. federal government is closed due to a lapse in appropriations. For the duration of the U.S. government shutdown, all ENERGY STAR tools, resources, and data services will not be available.” Was it necessary to disable every single link on the ENERGY STAR page?
Argue for a wall or against it but there has got to be a better way to handle the divisions of opinion in our country. The impact on the travel industry is only going to get worse. How long can you expect low-paid TSA agents to go without paychecks?
Disheartening is the lack of outcry from our industry. Other than the brief remarks from Brian Crawford, AHLA has not addressed the shutdown. The World Travel & Tourism Council has not issued a statement. Neither have companies including Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham and others. Disappointing.