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Hotels call for end to government shutdown

Profile Photo By: H L
October 11, 2013

Hotels call for end to government shutdown

A National Zoological Park Police Officer directs visitors and workers at the National Zoo in Washington, which is closed due to the government shutdown. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta AP)Major hotel chains are asking for an end to the federal government shutdown, which they say has caused people to cancel trips.

In a letter sent to President Obama and Congress on Thursday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association and its members asked for “an immediate agreement to fund the government and establish a degree of economic certainty to allow for continued growth.”

The group said that the nation’s hotels are losing more than $8 million each day because of the shutdown, which is now in its 10th day.

The shutdown has forced the closure of national parks, causing thousands of people to cancel their trips and hotel reservations. The group said that communities near national parks are expected to lose $76 million a day in visitor spending.

International travelers have canceled their hotel reservations because they are confused about whether or not they will be able to enter and leave normally, the group said. And hotels in northern states are getting calls each day from Canadians checking to see if the border is open.

“Current fiscal conditions are leading to increased consumer uncertainty, all to the detriment of economic growth,” the group wrote. “In short, the government shutdown is increasingly impairing the lodging industry’s ability to hire, grow, and contribute to the economy.”

In a separate statement the association’s president and CEO Katherine Lugar said that “hoteliers are a major economic driver and job creator across the country, and the industry’s ability to continue its growth is hamstrung by inaction from our policymakers.”

“The administration, House of Representatives, and Senate need to act swiftly in the best interests of the entire nation and end this shutdown,” she said.

Signatories to the letter include Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Loews Hotels, and Best Western International.

Source USA Today,?


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