WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Destination DC, the District’s official destination marketing organization, and Mayor Muriel Bowser previewed what’s to come for the District’s tourism and hospitality industries after they took a hard hit during the pandemic.
Bowser and DDC’s president and CEO hosted the annual Travel Rally from Audi Field, which recently reopened to fans. The soccer stadium will also host nearly all of D.C. Public Schools’ high school graduation ceremonies.
According to the DDC, 72% of people who have traveled in the last two years are planning a leisure trip this summer, but less than 50% have made reservations. DDC has launched a $2.5 million recovery advertising campaign in partnership with Events DC to entice Marylanders and Virginians who live within a four-hour drive from D.C. to make the trip.
D.C. is upping the ante with its Shop, Eat, Play and Stay Giveaway, which will grant five grand prize winners $25,000 to host an event in the District. “And 46 winners will get between $500 and $10,000 to spend at restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels in D.C.”
D.C. lost an estimated $603 million from 61 major events that were canceled over the last year.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, visitor spending went down by 68%, or $6.1 billion. The District lost $477 million in tax revenue from visitor spending and DC hotels missed out on $2.1 billion in revenue. 42,200 jobs were lost.