D.C. Area Hotels Taking a Hit from Government Shutdown

by Jessica Montevago
D.C. Area Hotels Taking a Hit from Government Shutdown

Photo: Shutterstock

The partial government shutdown, now the longest ever, is causing a ripple effect in the travel industry, impacting restaurants, hotels, theme parks, airlines and airports to various degrees.

Hotels in the greater Washington, D.C., area are now feeling the sting. As federal workers miss another paycheck, and major attractions like the Smithsonian remain closed, demand has dwindled.

In the region, including the nearby suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, hotel revenue plunged 26 percent in the second week of January compared with the same period last year, according to travel research firm STR. Overall, there was an 8 percent decline nationwide.

Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson said during an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday that the government shutdown is hurting the company in various markets – especially in the company’s hometown of Washington, D.C.

“We have 150 hotels in the greater Washington area. Business there is down double digits since the government shutdown," Sorenson told the outlet.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company – which capped off a record year for growth, opening about 500 hotels in 2018 while signing franchise and management agreements with 816 properties – has more exposure in the area than some of its competitors.

Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at lodging data provider STR, told Bloomberg: “Events organized by the government or by groups doing business with the government will be postponed or not happen. School groups that had bake sales to fund a trip aren’t going to come.”

The shutdown is costing the tourism industry more than $100?million a day, according to an analysis by the U.S. Travel Association. It includes nearly $50 million a day in direct domestic travel spending and more than $50 million in indirect and induced travel-related output, according to the trade group.

The travel and tourism industries generate about $1.6 trillion in U.S. economic activity — one-twelfth of the economy — and one in 20 jobs, according to the Commerce Department.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Canada Issues Travel Warning for Thailand

The advisory warns travelers to exercise a high degree of caution because of ongoing political tensions and violent incidents.

Canadian Government Enacts New Air Passenger Protection Regulations

The new law lays out rules designed to make sure airlines and their customers are up to date on what they are entitled to if things go wrong.

Supplier Spotlight: Global Affairs Canada

New website offers a database of safety advice and advisories for Canadian’s traveling abroad.

Delta to Add Nonstop Flights Between New York and Colombia

The new daily service will connect JFK to Bogota, one of the leading destinations in Latin America.

Universal Orlando Announces Plans for New Theme Park

Epic Universe will “take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands.”

British Airways Strike Update: Deal with Pilots’ Union Falls Through

The airline failed to reach an agreement with the union on the pay dispute, making the proposed pilot strike even more likely.

News Briefs
Tip of the Day

As travel advisors, we have to be curious. Curiosity leads to impactful connections that pave our road to success. - Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International

Daily Top List

The Most Popular Attractions in Philadelphia

1. Reading Terminal Market

2. SugarHouse Casino

3. Independence Visitor Center

4. The Liberty Bell Center

5. Peddler’s Village

Source: VisitPhilly

TMR Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
AmaWaterways - Christmas Markets