by Matt Alderton | October 17, 2013
After more than two weeks of partisan gridlock, the federal government is once again open for business — and the travel industry is grateful.

“America’s travel community thanks President Obama and congressional leaders for reaching bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and end the hemorrhaging of dollars and jobs that threatened to hobble the United States travel economy,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “The shutdown’s damage cannot be undone, but reopening the government will allow America’s travel community to get back to work and continue to drive U.S. economic recovery.”

Lawmakers in the House and Senate reached an agreement last night that funds the federal government through mid-January and extends the nation’s debt ceiling through early February. As a result, furloughed government employees can return to work immediately while government owned parks and monuments can reopen to visitors, ending an estimated loss of $152 million per day in travel-related economic output and providing increased financial security to as many as 450,000 American workers who are supported by travel.

Although the short-term solution is welcome, the travel industry now is encouraging Congress to pursue a long-term fix to the country’s financial challenges in order to avoid another shutdown next year.

“After 16 long days of uncertainty, the loss of $115.2 million in economic activity in the lodging industry, and billions of dollars more in lost collective income and visitor spending, hoteliers across America are grateful Congress and the president have finally come to the table and passed a bipartisan bill to end the government shutdown,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). “We urge policymakers to take these next few months to engage in a serious dialogue to find a meaningful and long-lasting solution to the fiscal issues still facing this country — solutions that will allow the lodging industry to continue its role as a major driver of economic growth and job creation.”

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