Destination DC announces new advertising campaign, reveals strong visitation numbers, ET TravelWorld


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Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organisation for Washington, DC, has announced a fresh advertising campaign, titled There’s Only One Washington, DC’.

The new campaign, to be launched on November 1, has been designed with the international markets in mind, including India and aligns with DDC’s current efforts to market the city for meetings and conventions under its “Connected” platform. The platform focuses on assets for meeting planners found only in Washington, DC. Examples include strong industries and access to policymakers and experts.

The branding positions the destination as wholly unique and highlights the city’s dining, nightlife, arts, culture, sports, theater, outdoor activities and green spaces.

“We are excited to bring the ‘There’s Only One Washington, DC’ campaign to India, which was designed with our international markets in mind, as it resonates globally,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC.

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Wego’s statistics show a surge in bookings from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait to Britain during the ‘Spilling the Tea on Great Britain’ campaign, up 25 per cent from January to June, compared to the same period last year. To facilitate travelling for GCC nationals, the UK Government is also set to launch a new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme in October.

“India is our number three international market for 2022, and we know that investing further via this campaign strategy is critical to successfully increasing India visitation to Washington, DC,” he said, adding “We are working alongside our in-market firm, Indiva Marketing, to execute plans that showcase Washington, DC’s unique offerings like the city’s free things to do, world-class dining, arts and culture, parks and more”.Sharing the recent visitation trends, Ferguson said the numbers point towards a return to pre-pandemic levels. According to him, in 2022, the city welcomed 21.9 million visitors, including 1.2 million international visitors. That means domestic visitation has rebounded to 91 percent of pre-pandemic figures, while international visitation has rebounded to 60 percent.

“We knew domestic travellers would return quicker than those from international markets, and when domestic travellers are considering where to spend their money, the data tells us DC is a top choice,” said Ferguson.

“The data also tells us we must continue enticing international travellers to return. With support from the tourism recovery district legislation, we will continue to win back global travellers with higher spending potential. That matters because visitors directly support local jobs and contribute to the quality of life for residents,” he said.

Frankfurt sees unprecedented growth in visitor numbers, LOS in Q1 & Q2 2023

According to the Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board, a total of 3,904,386 overnight stays were counted in the first six months of the year, out of which 962,685 were in the months of April and May. These corresponded to an increase of 145% compared to the previous year, the tourism board said.

According to DDC, international visitors typically comprise seven percent of total visitation but account for 27 percent of spending. The 1.2 million international visitors represent a 279 percent year-to-year increase. Top international markets included the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, India, France, Brazil, Mexico (by air), China, South Korea and Australia. DDC plans to increase its representation in select markets in the next fiscal year, starting with Brazil and Mexico.

DDC also announced plans to sustain the positive momentum, nationwide and abroad, by previewing a new advertising campaign: “There’s Only One DC.”

“The new campaign allows us to unapologetically own how fabulous this city is while promoting it,” said Robin A. McClain, DDC’s chief marketing officer. “It’s been extensively tested and researched, and the visuals purposefully blend what DC is known for with hidden gems. Through additional funding and a strategy rooted in research with MMGY Global, our advertising agency of record, we’ll reach more potential travellers than ever.”

From Michelin-starred restaurants to James Beard Award-winning chefs and world-renowned mixologists, DC’s locally sourced dining scene has incredible momentum. The city is also undergoing a hotel renaissance, with 19 new hotels and more than 3,500 additional rooms in the pipeline.

Major events, including DC JazzFest (Aug. 30-Sept. 3), Theatre Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 8), and the World Culture Festival (Sept. 29-Oct. 1) are expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to the city. Additionally, a landmark museum reopens this fall following years-long renovations: the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

  • Published On Sep 12, 2023 at 01:25 PM IST

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