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Destination DC Announces Record 2015 and Nearly 5% Increase in UK Visitation

by | Aug 26, 2016 | Press Releases

On Wednesday, 24 August 2016 Destination DC announced a record 21.3 million total visitors to Washington, DC in 2015, up 5% over 2014. DDC president and CEO Elliott L. Ferguson led the annual Marketing Outlook Meeting, highlighting the impact of tourism and sharing the organization’s plans for the upcoming year to market the nation’s capital to business and leisure travellers.

Overseas visitation in 2015 was up 7.8% over 2014 with the UK visitor arrivals up 4.6% from 192,000 to 201,000.

The top overseas visitor markets to DC, in order of visitation, were China, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, India, South Korea, Brazil, Italy and Japan. Though 9% of the total number of visitors to DC, international visitors [overseas visitors plus visitors from Canada and Mexico] represent 27% of the visitor spending.

“We’re thrilled with another record visitation year, welcoming just over two million overseas visitors for the first time along with the 19.3 million domestic visitors,” said Ferguson. “Visitor spending reached $7.1 billion, up 4.1%. Tourism is an economic engine for the city, generating $757 million dollars in DC tax revenue.”

With 21 citywide conventions and events, 2017 is poised to be a strong year. Citywide conventions are meetings that bring 2,500 room nights or more on peak to Washington, DC. The total economic impact for these meetings is $357 million with 484,649 total room nights.

Also a citywide, Washington, DC will host U.S. Travel Association’s IPW 2017 for the first time, 3-7 June 2017. IPW is the single largest generator of travel to the U.S. According to Rockport Analytics, in the three years following IPW, the host city is expected to receive an additional one million international visitors and $1.7 billion in economic impact, with $84 million in local taxes. For more information, visit washington.org/IPW2017.

Washington, DC’s landscape is booming with $9.6 billion in development underway, including the Wharf, a 24 acre $2 billion project along the Southwest Waterfront, and nearly 4,500 hotel rooms in the pipeline. The city’s dining scene is gaining international attention, and in October will become the 4th North American destination to receive a Michelin Guide to its restaurants. Washington, DC was also recently named “Restaurant City of the Year” by Bon Appétit. Smithsonian Institution’s highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Sept. 24. The National Gallery of Art’s East Building re-opens Sept. 30 after a three-year renovation. The city is also gearing up for inauguration 20 January 2017, and washington.org/inauguration is a complete resource for hotel packages and special events.

Destination DC will continue to highlight the city’s diverse neighborhoods, outstanding restaurants, nightlife, music, sports, arts and culture, shopping and attractions through its DC Cool campaign. Social media engagement and user-generated content through #MyDCcool – a hashtag that has been used nearly 45,000 times in the last year – will be further emphasized, providing authentic inspiration for travelers through the perspective of real-time experiences.

About Destination DC: Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of over 850 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. www.washington.org.

For more information on Capital Region USA, visit www.CapitalRegionUSA.co.uk

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26 August 2016

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