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For Immediate Release:
November 8, 2012

American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting Brings a Boost to Washington, DC Hotels

Citywide convention to occupy more hotel room nights than any DC-based conference in 2012

(Washington, DC) – Washington, DC will welcome more than 16,000 delegates of the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Nov. 9 - 14, 2012. The five-day citywide convention is expected to occupy 50,336 room nights at 50 different hotels; the single largest DC-based conference this year, according to Destination DC, the city’s official tourism and marketing organization.

Additionally, more than half of the ACR convention attendees are international visitors from more than 100 countries. International visitors have a significant impact on the local economy as they traditionally stay longer and spend more than the average visitor to DC. 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 26 percent of the overall economic impact, according to IHS/Global Insight.

“The ACR Annual Meeting is expected to generate more than $15.7 million to our local economy and will offer a huge boost to Washington’s hotel community as we head into the winter season,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “In addition to filling our hotels, we are thrilled that delegates will have a chance to experience iconic attractions such as the Newseum and National Portrait Gallery where ACR events have been scheduled. Additionally, convention attendees will impact DC’s restaurants, attractions and cultural institutions as they explore the nation’s capital.”

The ACR is an organization of and for physicians, health professionals and scientists that advances rheumatology through programs of education, research and advocacy regarding rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The Annual Scientific Meeting is planned to promote research in rheumatology and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about research, education, patient care and socioeconomic issues.

"The American College of Rheumatology is happy to return to our nation’s capital for its annual meeting this year. The meeting will feature research of the best and brightest in rheumatology. This research will impact how we diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases — which affect nearly 50 million Americans —now and in the future. This year’s meeting has the potential to be one of our biggest to date, and we look forward to welcoming thousands from around the world to Washington, DC and the ACR Annual Meeting,” says Jim O’Dell, MD, rheumatologist and president of the American College of Rheumatology.

The Washington, DC area is an attractive meeting destination for medical associations because of its proximity to policy makers on Capitol Hill, access to the federal government’s premier medical research agency, the National Institute of Health, and the number of medical professionals living in the DC metropolitan region.
All registered convention attendees with a convention badge are eligible to take part in Destination DC’s “Show Your Badge” program. Present an American College of Rheumatology convention badge at any of the nearly 50 participating “Show Your Badge” businesses and convention-goers will 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. “Show Your Badge” underlines the accessibility of DC’s hospitality and entertainment community for Convention Center attendees.

For more information about ACR and its annual meeting, please visit http://www.acrannualmeeting.org.

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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.