Hello, government shutdown. Goodbye, conference business.
A four-day gathering at the Tampa Convention Center was postponed this week because of the federal government shutdown, reportedly taking with it more than 7,000 hotel-room nights and about $5 million in revenue.
The GEOINT 2013 Symposium expected more than 4,000 intelligence, defense and homeland security professionals and 265 exhibitors to convene. The U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, which sponsors the event, hopes to reschedule it for April 14-17 .
“The absence of government speakers from our program and the absence of government customers from our exhibit hall, forced the unavoidable postponement of the 10th annual GEOINT Symposium,” the agency said in a statement. Details HERE.
Tampa isn’t alone. Hotels across the nation are losing more than $57.6 million in economic activity each week the shutdown continues, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, heeding an Oct. 11 call from the nonprofit consumer group FlyersRights.org, has waived its $200 change fee for travel impacted by the shutdown. But US Airways, American, United, JetBlue and Allegiant airlines continue to charge regular change fees (about $200 per ticket) plus any difference in airfare.
Elsewhere in shutdown news:
- The nonprofit that handles Washington’s marketing for major conventions started a “”D.C. is open for business” campaign.
- Destination DC in Washington estimated that hotel occupancy was down 9 percent the first week after the shutdown.
- In Arizona, the Grand Canyon reopened after two weeks, funded by the state instead of the federal government.
- In New York, the Statue of Liberty reopened after two weeks, also funded by the state.
- The AH&LA and hoteliers nationwide have contacted President Obama and every member of Congress to call for a bipartisan resolution to the shutdown.
Has the government shutdown affected your business? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.