How the US government shutdown will impact your travel plans


  • Europe
  • Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013

Tourists face closures of landmarks and delayed passport services.

NATIONAL parks in the United States are being evacuated, American landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial have closed, and some citizens can expect delayed passport services.

These are among some of the major consequences for tourists and travellers following the government shutdown in the United States.

Here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about how the shutdown – which could cost the country US$10bil (RM32.4bil) a week – will impact the travel and tourism industry.

> If your travel plans involved any of the 400 national parks and museums managed by the National Park Service such as Yosemite, the Smithsonian, and the Statue of Liberty, you’re out of luck as you’ll likely be turned away. Want to check if your destination is affected? Visit www.nps.gov/index.htm.

> Given that air traffic controllers and border control operations are deemed essential services, they will continue to operate as usual. Flight operations will be unaffected.

> While the State Department has issued a statement saying that passport services will remain “100%” operational, there’s an important caveat. Namely, that if a passport agency is located in a government building that’s been closed due to the shutdown, you may be looking at delays. Check with your local passport office.

> Because consular services at US embassies and consulates at offices around the world are funded by application fees, visa applications should continue to be processed.

> The national railway service Amtrak will remain operational. – AFP Relaxnews

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