July 20, 2012
AIDS 2012 Conference Creates Huge Economic Boost for DC
(Washington, DC) – When International AIDS Society (IAS) hosts its conference AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC, July 22-27, more than 20,000 expected attendees will impact the city’s economy through hotel bookings, transportation use, dining, shopping and visiting the District’s unique attractions. Many convention attendees are international visitors who traditionally stay longer and spend more than the average visitor to DC. The estimated economic impact of the convention is $33 million, according to Destination DC, the city’s official tourism and marketing organization.
“With an opportunity to host a convention like AIDS 2012, which has not been held in the U.S. since 1990, we know that the number of international attendees visiting the nation’s capital next week will bring an even greater impact to the city,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “It took six years to book AIDS 2012 because a federal law mandating people with HIV disclose their status in advance of visiting the United States had to be overturned before the organization would even consider meeting here.”
In 2011, meetings and tourism generated $6 billion in revenue for Washington, DC. While international travelers made up 10 percent of all visitors, their spending was responsible for 27 percent of the overall economic impact, according to IHS/Global Insight.
Destination DC and Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District, work together closely to attract international citywide convention business to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. International convention sales efforts have grown over the past two years as the organizations have developed relationships with international association clients, along with offering training for local partners on the nuances of pursuing international convention business.
“We made a strategic marketing decision to establish Washington, DC as an international destination. AIDS 2012 is a prime example of what this type of show can do for our market segment,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, Events DC president and CEO. “This conference will be monumental event for Events DC, the District of Columbia and the nation. We’re committed to raising the international profile of the city while providing premier customer service.”
All registered convention attendees with a convention badge are eligible to take part in Destination DC’s “Show Your Badge” program. Present an AIDS 2012 convention badge at any of the 35 participating “Show Your Badge” businesses and you can receive special deals and discounts. Opportunities range from prix-fixe meals at fine restaurants including Kellari Taverna and Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place to buy one, get one free admission to The Presidents Gallery at Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. “Show Your Badge” will be promoted to convention attendees at the concierge desk at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and on washington.org/showyourbadge.
Another big step on booking more international business in the nation’s capital, the International Gas Union (IGU) selected Washington, DC as the host city of the 27th World Gas Conference (WGC2018) in June 2018.
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About Destination DC: Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 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. Destinationdc.com.
About Events DC: Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. For more information, please visit Eventsdc.com.
Media ContactsFor local, business and meetings/conventions media:
Robin McClain, Director of Communications
For local and domestic consumer media:
Kate Gibbs, Media Relations Manager
For international and travel trade media inquiries:
Alicia Malone, International Media Relations Manager
Chinyere Hubbard , Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Events DC
Ashley Forrester , Manager, Marketing and Communications