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Tourism News & Events

Tourism News

See what the Destination DC tourism team has been up to.

ESTO (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) (Aug. 17-20, Austin, TX)
Attendees: Taylor Malcolm, Theresa Belpulsi, Elliott Ferguson, Robin McClain, Alex Gnafakis, Andrew O’Connor, Torri Christian
ESTO is a seminar program sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association. The four-day event, geared toward U.S. destination management organization professionals, includes networking opportunities and sessions about new trends and tools, best practices and debates related to destination marketing. Elliott Ferguson and Robin McClain moderated educational sessions regarding equality and inclusion, as well as the advertising evolution, respectively. Destination DC walked away with not only new ideas but also with Brand USA’s Inaugural Video Storytelling Award for The Arts District video series.

2019 Pokémon World Championships (Aug. 16-18, Washington, DC)
Attendee: Lawrence Hamm
The 2019 Pokémon World Championships returned to Washington, DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. More than 6,000 attendees and about 2,300 competitors came from over 40 countries to celebrate all things Pokémon. The best players from all over the world competed for the title of Pokémon TCG, Video Game, or Pokkén Tournament World Champion—and for their share of $500,000 in prize money.

Connect Sports Marketplace (Aug. 26-28, Louisville, Kentucky)
Attendees: Lawrence Hamm, Christopher Thompson
Connect Sports is the only fully hosted-buyer program designed for the sports events and tourism industry, focused on enhancing skills, learning about trending topics, networking and driving more business. This event brought together top event organizers, NGBs, suppliers and industry experts. Destination DC sports and convention sales hosted a reception with clients and conducted more than 40 appointments with sports event owners. The industry was updated on our fast-growing and changing city, with references to the RFK redevelopment and Entertainment & Sports Arena.

University of Maryland Men’s Soccer vs. University of Virginia Men’s Soccer (Sept. 2, Washington, DC)
Attendees: Lawrence Hamm, Christopher Thompson
D.C. United hosted a NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer match between the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia, also known as the Battle for the District at Audi Field. This matchup is one of the most storied rivalries in college soccer and was the second-ever collegiate match at the venue. The two teams played the first collegiate game in Audi Field history to a 0-0 draw.

Australia Sales and Media Mission (Sept. 2-6, Auckland, NZ; Melbourne, Australia; Sydney, Australia)
Attendees: Elliott Ferguson, Theresa Belpulsi, Lindsay Hill, Vanessa Casas, Brittany Smoot
The Destination DC tourism and marketing teams traveled Down Under to meet with media, tour operators and travel agents. This was the first mission with new in-country office, Canuckiwi. VIP events were hosted in Auckland and Sydney with a sit-down client dinner hosted in Melbourne. We also unveiled the first-ever international consumer event, with a build-out of the Lincoln Memorial chair as the focus of an activation in Sydney.

American Airlines El Salvador FAM (Sept. 4-8, Washington, DC)
Attendees: Erica Riddle, Jessica Reyes, Letizia Sirtori
Agents attending this American Airlines-organized FAM were representatives of U Travel Service, a division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel and an IATA accredited agency, based in El Salvador. U Travel Service focuses on providing comprehensive, high-quality travel planning assistance to business and corporate clients while also assisting FIT and groups in their travel planning needs. In 2018, U Travel Service produced 950 room nights to Washington, DC and utilized this FAM as an opportunity to continue to grow production through refreshing their agents' knowledge of the destination. Participating members included Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC/U.S. Capitol, Urban Adventures Washington DC, Old Ebbitt Grill, NMAAHC, Supra, Union Market, United States Capitol Visitors Center, Library of Congress, Ana in District Winery, Newseum and National Gallery of Art.

Carrier UK FAM (Sept. 5-8, Washington, DC)
Attendees: Erica Riddle, Letizia Sirtori
Carrier, a luxury tour operator based in the UK, sent two sales agents to Washington, DC to learn more about the destination and the properties they sell. The UK is one of our top markets for international visitors and this FAM was made possible through coordination with our UK office. Participating members included The St. Regis Washington DC, Fig & Olive, Fiat Luxe Tours, International Spy Museum, Rosewood Washington DC, The Watergate Hotel, U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, The Hay-Adams, The LINE DC, The Jefferson, Washington DC, Service Bar DC, Kith/Kin and Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC.

FTI France FAM (Sept. 6-8, Washington, DC)
Attendees: Taylor Malcolm, Erica Riddle
FTI Group, the fourth-largest tour operator in Europe, sent a FAM tour of 14 C-Suite travel agents (owners or CEOs) to Washington, DC for a VIP experience. Participating members included Fairmont Hotel, Fogo de Chao, Bike and Roll DC and Carpe DC Food Tours.

CRUSA United Tel Aviv Corporate/Leisure FAM (Sept. 6-9, Virginia & Washington, DC)
Attendees: Erica Riddle, Letizia Sirtori
United Airlines brought a FAM to the Capital Region via its new nonstop service from Tel Aviv to Dulles International Airport. This FAM targeted travel agents from Israel-based travel management companies who sell to leisure and corporate buyers. The goal was to showcase Washington, DC and the region as an ideal business travel destination. Sixteen agents were in attendance representing a variety of business, ranging from OTAs to tour operators to organizations strictly focusing on business travel management. Participating members included USA Guided Tours, Sequoia, Mi Vida Restaurante, Trump International Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, International Spy Museum, National Gallery of Art and Sette Osteria.

Welcome China Program
Point of Contact: Ang Li
JW Marriott Hotel and The Hotel at the University of Maryland recently joined on as Welcome China Program members. Register to become China-ready with the program and learn about how to prepare for Chinese visitors, enhance your presenc

WeChat
Point of Contact: Ang Li
Destination DC’s official WeChat mini-city experience was recently upgraded as part of an effort to improve the travel experience for users. The enhanced Mini Program will help Chinese visitors in DC discover personalized experiences, events, hotels, restaurants, shopping and coupons. A hotel tab was also added, which features Welcome China hotel members, and soon there will be tabs added to cover language support service, festivals and guides.

Check out the full Destination DC Member eNews to learn more about what's going on this month.