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Industry Updates

Learn about the economic impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Washington, DC, new hybrid meeting capabilities and recent member events.

COVID-19 Impact on DC

  •      Visitor spending was down 80%, or $4.5 billion, for March 8-November 7 compared to the same period last year, according to Tourism Economics.

o   This translates to $342 million in lost tax revenue for the District of Columbia from visitor spending alone.

o   Spending was down 94% for all of April & May compared to the same months last year, down 77% for June and July and down 72% in August, September and October.

  • From March 8-November 7, 2020, hotel revenue was down 89%, or down $1.4 billion, from the same period in 2019, according to STR.

  • From March 8-November 7, 2020, hotel room demand (rooms sold) was down 82%, or down 5.6 million rooms, from the same period in 2019, according to STR.

  •  The economic impact of 49 canceled conventions and meetings that DDC has booked is more than $521.4 million over this year and next: 

    • $369.8 million from 36 large-scale events and meetings in 2020

    • $151.7 million from 13 large-scale & impactful groups in 2021 

    • Doesn’t account for meetings held inside hotels and leisure groups (and doesn’t add perfectly due to rounding)

Hybrid Meetings in Washington, DC

As a leading hub for innovation, Washington, DC is on the forefront of merging virtual and hybrid meetings through seamless technology, customizable event space and a vast network of experts across many industries. Studio 801 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is now available with 19,000 square feet of flexible space and remote audience view screens. Learn more about how hybrid meetings thrive in Washington, DC on


Grateful for DC

On Nov. 17, DDC hosted a virtual conversation between Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and DDC’s President and CEO, Elliott L. Ferguson, II. The two hospitality leaders discussed their professional journeys, the Black Lives Matter movement and what they love about living and working in the nation’s capital. A video of the event is on YouTube.


Washington, DC Special Agent Academy Update

After launching earlier this year, DDC’s global travel agent training program titled “Washington, DC Special Agent Academy” recently expanded with a Spanish version. A Mandarin version is in production. The online-based program is designed to train and engage travel agents in the U.S. and around the world who are interested in becoming Washington, DC experts. As a DC special agent, travel professionals will be better prepared to sell the nation’s capital and its unique offerings to their customers. Agents will also be able to match travelers’ special interests and styles with a personalized DC experience.