Just this week, the U.S. government went into shutdown mode. Although this has happened in the past, it has not happened in many years. Tourists who are visiting the United States may find that some of the attractions that they wanted to see are closed down. This includes all of the country’s 401 national parks and other national attractions like the Statue of Liberty. However, just because these attractions are closed down, does not mean that tour operators are willing to refund Brits their money.
Tour operators in the UK are now saying that they will not refund Brits their money unless their holiday was severally ruined by these attractions being closed down. The problem is that Brits are going to have a hard time proving that their holiday was ruined because these attractions are shut down. In fact, Brits will have to prove that, without a shadow of doubt, their holiday completely revolved around a government attraction in order to get their money back.
Some of the parks that are closed include Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park and 19 museums that are run by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Although there are some attractions that can never really be shut down, like the Grand Canyon, a lot of the guided tours and trails are closed. This means tourists can look at the Grand Canyon, but they are required to stay off of its trails.
According to reports from tour operators in the UK, around some 30,000 Brits are currently on holiday in the United States. While many of them are there to visit national attractions, their itineraries are mixed. This means that if a family was planning to see a national park and Disney World, they will not get their money back. Even though half of their holiday was ruined, Disney World remains open and the holiday was not a complete bust.
This is just another example of tour operators trying to find a way out of giving people their money back. People book with tour operators so that they can get their money back when things like this happen. It is supposed to be the safety net that these travellers have over people who book their own holidays. That being said, people typically find it hard to get their money back anyway.
Tour operators in the UK did say that people who did have some kind of national park scheduled in their itineraries will have other, alternative services offered to them. However, unless their whole trip is ruined, they will not be able to get their money back. Most of the tour operators did not give details about these alternative services.
Either way, any Brits that did not use a tour operator are completely out of luck. They have no kind of insurance and will have to find their own form of entertainment. Currently, there has been no announcement as to when the government will come out of shutdown. In order for this to happen, Congress has to agree on the budget. Until they agree on it, they will not give out any money to these government-funded operations.