Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organisation for Washington, DC, announced that the U.S. capital attracted a record 23.8 million total visitors in 2018, the ninth consecutive record year for visitation to Washington, DC. India accounted for 117,000 visitors in 2018, 6 percent of the 1.9 million overseas visitors, making it the third largest overseas market for Washington, DC.
“DDC has observed immense potential in the Indian market with our travel partners,” said Mr. Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC. “We saw more than twice as many visitors from India in 2018 than in 2013 and we anticipate further growth.” Through Indiva Marketing, the in-market representative for Washington DC, various trade and consumer led activations are confirmed with airline and travel partners to encourage visitors to the capital city. Among various initiatives, DDC will also host a FAM trip for key tour operators in partnership with Air India in October.
Visitation from India to the U.S. is forecasted to increase 46 percent, at an average annual rate of 7 percent between 2017 and 2023, to register 1.87 million arrivals by 2023. “With more to see and do across all eight wards of DC, we are proud to continue welcoming visitors from all around the world,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Whether you are coming to DC for work or fun, we are a city with something for everyone – from sports and theatre to world-class dining and museums. We will continue creating new destinations and giving travellers reason to return, because when our tourism industry does well so do our local businesses and workers.”
In the fall of 2019, Washington, DC has several openings in the pipeline for visitors to look forward to:
1. After a five-year closure, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History re-opened its spectacular fossil collection in June. The 31,000-square-foot exhibition will feature an authentic Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton alongside more than 700 other fossil specimens, including mammals, reptiles, plants and insects—some never displayed at the museum. Also, discover dinosaur-themed attractions at the National Zoo.
2. The International Spy Museum which relocated to L’Enfant Plaza is home to interactive exhibitions and installations, the foremost collection of spy artifacts in the world, and first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts. The Museum places visitors in the shoes of the spies.
3. The expansion at Washington, DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The REACH, officially opened on Sept. 7. To celebrate, the Kennedy Center is hosting 16 days’ worth of free programming, including concerts, workshops, film screenings, dance performances and so much more. washington.org/visit-dc/the-reach-kennedy-center.
4. The Washington Monument will re-open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m. after a 37-month closure to modernize the elevator control system and construct a new security screening facility. washington.org/dc-guide-to/washington-monument
5. The National Children’s Museum’s anticipated new home opens Nov. 1 in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington that will house a 33,000-square-foot STEAM-enabled playscape.
Looking to celebrate Halloween in Washington, DC? The nation’s capital is full of spooky and supernatural history, from the infamous Exorcist Steps in Georgetown, the city’s oldest neighborhood, to Capitol Hill haunts where ghosts of former lawmakers are rumored to have been sighted. Uncover the haunted and ghastly throughout the DC area with these tours sure to spook you and your friends.
When it comes to stay options, DC has 16 new hotels with over 3,307 rooms in the pipeline. New brands include AC by Marriott Hotels, a business hotel with 219 rooms and suites, Thompson Washington DC, luxury lifestyle flag with 225 rooms and The Riggs Washington DC, the former home of Washington D.C.’s Riggs National Bank with 181 residential rooms and suites.