Private Tours Boom During Shutdown

Private City Tours Boom During Shutdown

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The signs say they're closed and the gates may be locked up tight, but that doesn't mean tourists are staying away from some of Philly's biggest tourist attractions.

The Kamalian family from Wisconsin said they're not missing a beat.

"It was on top of the list that was something we really wanted to incorporate into our trip," Vahan Kamalian said.

After peeking in the windows of the Liberty Bell, they were seeing the sites from a double decker tour bus.

Britanny Pepito of Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours says the government shutdown of the liberty bell, independence hall and other attractions may even be helping businesses like guided tours, horse and carriage rides historic bus tours.


"With tourism still booming because you are not going to get people to stop visiting Philadelphia. Business is good? Business is good,"Pepito said.

Dennis Martin is a horse carriage driver who remembers the 1995 government shutdown. He's even polished up his government shutdown sales pitch.

"They come down here and say we can't see nothing I'll tell you I'll show you everything that's closed I can tell you about it," Martin said.

If the government shutdown continues too long, that may be another story. Some worry potential tourists are already making other plans"

Longtime newspaper columnist turned tour guide Clark Deleon says business has been steady, but wonders what's next.

"People are coming to Philadelphia because they've already scheduled it. And they know that it's shut down and they're dealing with it," Deleon said.

For visitors like the Kamalian family, it's just a matter of making the best of a bad situation.

"It was a little bit of a disappointment but we're happy to see what you can see," Vahan Kamalian said.

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