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For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Appoints Destination DC President and CEO to United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

WASHINGTON -- Destination DC confirms the appointment of President & CEO Elliott Ferguson by Commerce Secretary John Bryson to a two-year appointment on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). Ferguson is one of 32 executives from the travel and tourism sector tapped to offer counsel on current and emerging travel issues. The Board is tasked to advise the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry. Ferguson’s appointment marks the first time Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC, has been recognized with a seat on TTAB since its founding in 2003.

Today’s appointment comes on the day of President Obama’s announcement of a National Travel and Tourism Strategy and corresponding Executive Order.

“This Board represents the eyes and ears of our nation’s travel and tourism industry, and I am committed to working with each of the esteemed members to bring more visitors to the United States,” Secretary Bryson said. “I appreciate the Board members’ dedication to our economic recovery and look forward to working with Elliott Ferguson to put ideas into action to bolster job creation in this critical economic sector.”

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) echoed the Secretary’s remark: “The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board would not be complete without a notable representative from the District of Columbia, one of the prime destinations of the world. In Elliott Ferguson, Commerce Secretary John Bryson has found a distinguished professional who brings the full package of qualities necessary to help our nation continue the vitality of our tourism and travel sector.”

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray added: "I want to offer my hearty congratulations to Elliott Ferguson on being named to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board by Secretary Bryson. The tourism and hospitality industries are vital to our growing economy here in the District of Columbia, and to have the nation's capital represented on this prestigious board for the first time in history speaks volumes about the positive direction in which D.C. is headed."

Gregory McCarthy, Chairman, Destination DC Board of Directors, and Vice President of Government and Municipal Affairs, Washington Nationals, issued his support: “I wish to extend my congratulations to Elliott Ferguson on the high honor of his appointment by Secretary Bryson to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Elliott’s background in this industry and dedication to growing travel to the District will advance President Obama’s initiative to make travel a driver of the national economy. The federal government’s investment in promoting the U.S.A. to global travelers underscores the importance of this industry to the national economy. It’s even more true for the District. The hospitality industry is a jobs magnet for DC. Spending by international travelers to DC is a boon for our hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, museums, retailers and other attractions. The District, indeed the country, is fortunate to have Elliott’s talent and dedication focused on this effort.”

In the District of Columbia, travel and tourism spending supports 71,300 jobs annually and $2.8 billion in wages. In 2010, 17.3 million domestic and international visitors arrived in DC. Though international travel represents only 10 percent of all visitors to DC, it represents 25 percent (or $1.4 billion) of all traveler spending, which totaled $5.68 billion. This spending  generated $622.6 million in local tax receipts.

Interview op:    Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC, is available for comment.

U.S. Department of Commerce release:  See the full list of new TTAB members HERE.

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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 and Washington.org.