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Marketing & Communications Highlights

Family visiting Lincoln Memorial - Free family-friendly things to do in Washington, DC

The latest news from Destination DC's Marketing & Communications team.

  • DDC’s summer advertising campaign kicked off in mid-April with an out-of-home billboard at the Grove Shopping Mall in Los Angeles, which marks an earlier start to the summer campaign than in past years to better accommodate potential cross-country travelers. The campaign runs through Aug. 31 and targets key markets in addition to Los Angeles, including New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and Chicago. Placements include broadcast and cable TV spots, digital video distribution of the summer commercial and The Arts District video series, custom e-mail blasts, interactive mobile and desktop digital units, a sponsored listing with Travelzoo and custom content pieces with Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, The New Yorker and BuzzFeed. Additional out-of-home features run on Amtrak trains in the Northeast region, double-decker buses in key feeder markets and more Los Angeles billboards. As for print, the summer member co-op eight-page advertorial ran in six city magazines in May. Ads in additional publications include Departures, Passport, The National (Amtrak’s official magazine), The New Yorker, People and Real Simple.
  • Summer content on covers free things to do (including a revamped landing page with 15 new lists of experiences and a free events piece updated regularly), the summer’s biggest festivals, Hamilton at the Kennedy Center, MLB All-Star Week and member deals. In addition, the website features a new waterfronts landing page that showcases all there is to do on or near the water in and around the District, including pieces dedicated to the Georgetown waterfront, Capitol Riverfront, The Wharf and the Southwest Waterfront, National Harbor and both Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia.
  • The personalization project for, an effort to tailor relevant content to users based on data such as preferences, behaviors and location, is producing positive results. From March 8 – May 7, the website has seen an 8.33% decrease in bounce rate, a 3.93% increase in pages per session and a 26.88% increase in pageviews. Users who were targeted with personalization were 200% more likely to sign up for the DC Insider newsletter and 196% more likely to request an Official Visitors Guide, while engagement rates also increased compared to those who were not targeted. Site-wide personalization content has a 12.5% clickthrough rate, while the spring landing page saw a 310.9% increase in pageviews year-over-year (March 1 – April 15).
  • In partnership with CRUSA, DDC’s international media relations manager, Vanessa Casas, participated in a media mission to Switzerland and Germany from April 23-27. Vanessa traveled to Zurich, Hamburg and Berlin to meet with travel and trade media to discuss DC developments. DDC also partnered with CTOUR, an association of Berlin-based travel journalists, to host a media event at the Germany Spy Museum for more than 30 CTOUR members. Pitches that resonated throughout the mission included The Wharf, the new International Spy Museum and DDC’s The Arts District video series.

2017 Record Domestic Visitation Coverage
DDC announced record 2017 domestic visitation to Washington, DC and visitor spending at Travel Rally on May 9. Coverage included the Washington Business JournalWAMU 88.5, WTOPSuccessful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions and USAE.

Domestic Media

DC’s Maydan lands on Food & Wine’s Restaurants of the Year for 2018.
Food & Wine, April issue: Food & Wine Restaurants of the Year 2018

Alaska Airlines Magazine profiles DC, including mentions of the National Museum of Natural History, the National Portrait Gallery, the International Spy Museum, the Four Seasons Hotel and The Darcy.
Alaska Airlines Magazine, April issue: Historic Washington, D.C.

Nancy Trejos of USA Today highlights the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s new window when visitors can enter without a timed pass.
USA Today, April 4: African American history museum to offer ‘Walk Up Wednesdays’ in April

Architectural Digest focuses on the District’s status as a hub for great design.
Architectural Digest, April 17: One of the Nation’s Most Exciting Design Hubs May Surprise You

International Media

Frances Kuo of CGTN America highlights DDC’s marketing efforts to attract more Chinese visitors and includes images of DC’s WeChat profile. DDC president and CEO Elliott Ferguson is featured.
CGTN America, April 19: Washington, D.C. offers unique tourist program that partners with WeChat

France’s Télématin aired a 5 minute, 43 second video featuring DC, Alexandria, VA and Annapolis, MD during the week of President Macron’s official state visit to the U.S. The program was also shown on TV5 Monde, the top French TV channel that is broadcast internationally.
Télématin, April 23: Partir – Washington

Industry Clips

DDC’s efforts to reach the Chinese market, including the forthcoming non-stop flight from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, is referenced in a Chinese trade publication.
MICE China, April 11: 2018 US Capital Region Tourism Promotion Seminar Held in Beijing

DDC’s DC Loves Buses initiative received coverage in the April 23 edition of USAE.
USAE, April 23: News Section