NYC tourism industry faces unknown economic loss during shutdown

government shutdown new york city tourism
New York City’s tourism industry faces unknown economic losses during the government shutdown, with the Statue of Liberty and other federal attractions closed for business.
Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

New York City’s tourism industry faces unknown economic losses during the government shutdown, with the Statue of Liberty and other federal attractions closed for business.

“Less people, less sales, less interaction,” said George Hill, 59, who peddles T-shirts and hats in Lower Manhattan, where many tourists normally take ferries to Liberty Island.

The National Park Service said some 15,000 people who visit the statue every day will have their reservations cancelled as Congress remains gridlocked. Ellis Island, Federal Hall, Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace and the National Museum of the American Indian are also closed.

City, state and federal officials could not estimate how much the city will lose each day during the shutdown, but less foot traffic has vendors like Hill worried.

“If there is no government, there’s no me,” Hill said. “My business is based on the tourism, and the tourists are not coming.”

Before the statue closed following Superstorm Sandy, its visitors contributed $174 million to the New York area economy in 2011, supporting more than 2,200 jobs.

Nationwide, the shutdown will cost the Parks Service an estimated $450,000 per day in lost revenue.

Still, the city’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization isn’t concerned, noting other attractions in the five boroughs.

“Any closure of our national parks would be disappointing to some travelers, but we do not foresee it creating a major impact on New York City tourism,” NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta said in a statement.

But a few companies, like Skyline Sightseeing, offer packages with the statue included.

“That brings in a lot of our customers — knowing that they will get to see the Statue of Liberty for free,” said Heriberto Rodriguez, a 23-year-old passing out fliers for the bus tour company.

A shopkeeper named Infinity, who sells keychains and American flags near the Charging Bull, said on Tuesday afternoon that Wall Street was quieter than normal.

“There is a big difference. I usually have a lot of tourists coming around to go to the Liberty Island,” said the 58-year-old. “Usually there are so many.”

Though some tourists were more flexible, Svetlozar Nikolaev said he and his girlfriend travelled nearly 10,000 miles to see the Statue of Liberty.

“We are probably just going to the Time Square,” the 23-year-old Bulgarian said.

Maja Lundager contributed reporting. Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.