Yesterday my boyfriend asked me, “How pissed would you be if when we’d gone to Egypt they’d told us ‘sorry, the pyramids are closed today’?” I don’t think I really have to answer that question.
But that’s how it’s gone this week for millions of tourists across the United States because of the federal government shutdown. National parks, museums, and other famous institutions that draw visitors from across the U.S. and abroad are shut out from some of the most inspiring, natural, awesome, and thought-provoking experiences this country has to offer. For the folks doing the traveling it’s been a major disappointment. Sure, there are some who’ve made lemonade from the lemons of our government’s internal affairs, but for others the plans they’d had to visit the country’s federally run attractions have turned out to be a bust.
Travel advisors and tour operators who are politically aware may have had a jump on things by having a Plan B up their sleeve for their customers. I hope so, anyway. But for travelers who like to go it alone, what started out as an eager vacation has most probably turned into a frustrating experience and a poorer view of our government. This especially holds true for any foreign visitors.
As of today, the government is in day four of its shutdown but there’s strength in numbers. Travel agents, the travel industry as a whole, and U.S. citizens can do something about it.
How? All you need to do is write your federal representative.
Tell them how you feel. Especially for anyone in the travel industry whose livelihood depends on tourism. It’s that easy.
Power to the people, and to travelers.