Travel and tourism officials claim that a government shutdown would be a disaster for the nation's capital.

Elliot Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination D.C., a Washington tourism and attraction organization,  said a shutdown would be "catastrophic."

If the government does shutdown on March 5 at midnight -- which is when government funding is set to expire -- Washington museums and monuments would be closed. Tourism, officials say, would likely suffer.

Ferguson stressed that if the government does shut down, Washington isn't "closed for business."

"We would still continue to encourage and market the things people could do in D.C. even if there were a shutdown," Ferguson said. "Let's just say that we are prepared in the event that that does happen."

Jim Dinegar, CEO of the Washington Board of Trade said a shutdown, which would coincide with a period of high tourism in D.C., is a big concern.

Dinegar said he doesn't have any hard data to base an estimate on how much tourism would decline though estimated tourism revenue would be decreased between 30 and 40 percent.

"I unfortunately do expect a government shutdown," Dinegar said. "I think the differences are too great for both sides to reach a compromise in a timely manner to avoid a government shutdown."

Ferguson said, "In Washington, you come to town for three reasons: see family in friends, lobby Congress, and see the sights."

One sight that would not be affected by a shutdown are Washington's cherry blossoms, which usually peak at the end of March/early April.

Emily Cahn contributed to this report.