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Strong visitor numbers are revealed by the "Destination DC" campaign.

Strong visitor numbers are revealed by the “Destination DC” campaign.

The official destination marketing group for Washington, DC, Destination DC (DDC), claimed visitation is trending towards a restoration to pre-pandemic levels against the backdrop of a new advertising campaign. 21.9 million people visited the city in 2022, including 1.2 million tourists from other countries. Domestic tourism has therefore recovered to 91 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while overseas tourism has recovered to 60 percent.

The tourist sector is still recovering, according to Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC, who made the announcement during the organization’s annual Marketing Outlook Meeting on Tuesday at the Warner Theatre. There were hundreds of delegates from local tourist and hospitality enterprises in addition to city leaders and stakeholders.

“We knew domestic travelers would return more quickly than those from international markets, and the data tells us DC is a top choice when domestic travelers are considering where to spend their money,” said Ferguson. The data also reveals that we must keep luring visitors from abroad to visit again. The tourism recovery district law will help us keep luring back tourists from across the world who have more money to spend. This is significant because tourists directly support local businesses and improve the standard of living for locals.

Seven percent of all tourists are normally from abroad, but they spend 27 percent of all visitors’ money. The 1.2 million foreign tourists reflect an increase of 279 percent from the previous year.The top overseas markets included the UK, Germany, Canada, France, India, Brazil, Mexico (via air), China, South Korea, and Australia.In the upcoming fiscal year, DDC intends to expand its presence in a few key regions, starting with Brazil and Mexico.

DDC also revealed plans to maintain the favorable trend both domestically and internationally by revealing a new ad campaign called “There’s Only One DC.” The destination is presented as completely distinct in the branding. In terms of food, nightlife, the arts, sports, theater, outdoor activities, and green areas, DC is on par with other top-tier cities. However, no other place in the nation can match DC’s monuments, museums, memorials, and free activities. On November 1st, the campaign will formally debut.

“As we celebrate the progress in bringing tourists back to DC, and the jobs and opportunities those visitors create, we are also excited to support Destination DC’s new ‘There’s Only One DC’ campaign,” stated DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “It’s true: Washington, DC is the only place in the world like it. There is only one location where you can go to Ben’s Chili Bowl at night and then visit the White House during the day. There is only one location where you can travel to Sycamore & Oak first, then Cedar Hill, all in one trip. There is only one location, though, where you can celebrate and soak in the culture of the 700,000 Washingtonians who live in DC while learning about the history of our country.

“‘There’s Only One DC’ allows us to unapologetically own how fabulous this city is while promoting it,” said Robin A. McClain, chief marketing officer of DDC. It has undergone rigorous testing and study, and the graphics purposely combine classic DC elements with undiscovered gems. We will reach more potential tourists than ever with extra money and a research-based plan with MMGY Global, our advertising agency of record.

The campaign complements DDC’s ongoing work to promote the city for meetings and conventions through its “Connected” platform, which focuses on meeting planner resources available only in Washington, DC. Strong industries and access to decision-makers and specialists are two examples.

DC’s locally sourced eating scene is exploding, including Michelin-starred establishments, James Beard Award-winning chefs, and internationally recognized mixologists. With 19 new hotels and more than 3,500 additional rooms on the way, the hotel industry in the city is likewise experiencing a resurgence. Thousands of visitors are anticipated for major events like DC JazzFest (Aug. 30-Sept. 3), Theatre Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 8), and the World Culture Festival (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). In addition, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will reopen this fall after years of refurbishment.

Data on visits:

Total visitors to DC in 2022 were 21.9 million (20.7 domestic and 1.2 international).
19.1 million tourists in total, 18.8 million domestic and 320,000 foreign, came to DC in 2021.
Prior to the pandemic, DC welcomed a total of 24.8 million tourists in 2019 (22.8 million domestic and 2.0 million foreign).
In conclusion, overall visitation is up 14.6% year over year but down 11.7% from 2019.
According to STR, DC now outperforms other significant markets in year-over-year growth (31.5 percent), after ranking among the hotel markets with the weakest recovery in 2022.

In 2022, tourists will spend $8.1 billion.
Over 2021, up 50.8 percent (99.9% of 2019 levels).
Visitors’ spending resulted in record-high taxes of $1.6 billion.
58.7% higher than in 2021 and 1.6% higher than in 2019 levels.
A record 84,111 jobs were supported by visitors.
45 percent higher than in 2021 and 7.5 percent higher than in 2019
The industry supports 71,197 jobs directly; the other jobs are indirect or generated by rising visitor numbers.

Source- Travel daily

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