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Sightseeing in New York City and Washington DC During a Government Shutdown

October 4, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

OnBoard Sightseeing Tours, the only sightseeing tour company with operations in New York City,Washington DC, and Las Vegas, is operating all tours on a normal schedule despite the government shutdown.

OnBoard’s New York Tours, including the flagship tour, the Premium NY See It All! Tour, have been unaffected by the shutdown. Even with the shutdown, OnBoard Tours give you the best interaction available with the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and all the great attractions people want to experience in New York. Guests get phenomenal photo opportunities at all of the top attractions, including the Statue of Liberty.

In Washington, OnBoard had to adjust some of the tour stops to handle the fact that the monuments are technically closed, but all of the people who took tours today had a fantastic time, thanks to the improvisation and skill of expert tour guides. “Given the fact that the monuments are closed, the gI_59077_EdwinatStrawberryFieldsSmithsonian is closed, and certain roads giving access to the memorials are shut down, the best way to experience Washington DC right now is to take the OnBoard DC It All! Tour, so your tour guide can show you how to enjoy the attractions despite the government shutdown,” said Larry Lockhart, Vice President of OnBoard.

“The government shutdown is unfortunate,” said Tom Schmidt, OnBoard’s founder, “but OnBoard’s tour guides focus on limiting the impact on our guests. The people who are most affected are those who have not joined a tour with a guide who can navigate the changed landscape.” OnBoard tour guides find the best access points and photo opportunities for each monument. They also find alternative itineraries, taking advantage of attractions that are not closed down, like the National Cathedral, U.S. Capitol, Embassy Row, the Air Force Memorial, and other fantastic attractions.

Many of the tours and stops that OnBoard operates have not been affected by the shutdown. The U.S. Capitol, White House, Marine Corps Memorial, and Washington Monument stops are unaffected, as is the yacht cruise on the Potomac River during the DC It All! Tour. Also, OnBoard’s Mount Vernon and Arlington Cemetery Tour is operating as normal, because those two attractions are open as normal.

Despite the fact that the visitor experience is still very strong on OnBoard Tours, there has been a significant financial impact on OnBoard and other tourism-related companies such as hotels and attractions. OnBoard estimates it will suffer a 20% decline in sales in Washington DC for at least a week, as the result of the shutdown. The problem is that even if the shutdown ends today, many travelers have canceled plans for the next 10 days, and they are not likely to reinstate them. That spells bad news for the tourism industry around national monuments and National Parks. The Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, Fort Sumter in Baltimore, Mount Rushmore, and the National Parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Tom Schmidt, founder of OnBoard Tours, was interviewed on BBC TV on October 1. Here’s a link to one of the OnBoard Tours interviews.

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