Local hospitality alliance commits to facilitating successful in-person meetings
Washington, DC – Starting tomorrow, Friday, May 21, Washington, DC fully reopens for in-person meetings, conventions, trade shows, groups and special events. The hospitality alliance, comprised of Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, Events DC, the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, is leading an industry-wide effort to support customers meeting in the nation’s capital. The Still Connected approach is two-fold: first, is a focus on health standards, and second is a focus on DC’s exclusive benefits that facilitate commerce thriving in the city.
“After more than a year of navigating the pandemic together, it’s clear that nothing replaces face-to-face meetings. As a city, we take protective measures against COVID-19 seriously, and beyond that, meeting in Washington, DC provides many benefits,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “DC is walkable and accessible, and our hospitality partners across venues and event spaces, restaurants and hotels are dedicated to providing an experience that will lead to client success.”
“This year has tested our resilience and demonstrated the incredible strength of our community,” said Greg O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we know there is a pent-up demand for travel and a return to word-class meeting and event experiences in Washington, DC. We’ve spent the last year implementing the latest health and safety protocols to position Events DC as an industry leader and to put the safety of our guests and staff as our highest priority for reopening.”
DDC is a one-stop resource to provide customers with all the health information across transportation, venues, hotels and more on washington.org/meetings.
Events DC, operators of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, has created a comprehensive plan focused on cleanliness and health. Because of the dedicated efforts, the center, along with other Events DC venues, was awarded GBAC STAR™ certification. New safety equipment includes Kogniz and Certify, both thermal scanner systems to monitor temperature, and FujiTec Ionful, an air purification system.
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington provides resources for its eatery members to guide operators on best practices.
The Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. also provides updates and guidance to its hotel members.
View a copy of the Hospitality Alliance letter to customers on washington.org/meetings.
After a hiatus of face-to-face meetings and conventions, events come back stronger in DC because of the reasons that set the city apart.
Connected Capital: Focused on top industries in DC, organizations benefit from DC’s strong sectors including biotech/pharma, technology, transportation, sustainability, advocacy, education and medical. Newly added videos from DC experts provide insights on effective virtual advocacy meetings, accessible virtual meetings and how associations can impact climate change.
Connected Campus: Planners may choose to spread their meetings across several venues, for both health and experiential reasons, and DC is situated to provide walkable opportunities for groups using multiple central locations.
Local Meetings: DC is home to numerous associations. Local planners opting to meet in the city support DC’s hospitality community that has been severely impacted during the pandemic. Meeting locally impacts sustainability and budget by minimizing excess resources and travel costs.
Hybrid Capabilities: during the ramp-up of in-person meetings, DC is poised to provide the best in virtual and on-site experiences at a variety of interesting venues.
“DC is connected in many ways that benefit customers and add value. Our strongest sectors include the people and companies impacting our nation’s biggest challenges today: medical, technology and bio-tech and pharma,” said Melissa A. Riley, vice president, convention sales and services. “Meeting in DC attracts more exhibitors, attendees and sponsors with the strong content and programs that only experts in the region can provide and positively impact commerce.”
The DEI District – New Meetings Content
DDC has launched The DEI District, a content hub to help showcase Washington, DC as a global destination that promotes and validates diversity, equity and inclusion. Within the Meet section, event planners discover unique venues such as women-owned hotels, active community hubs and sustainable spaces. Leading corporate social responsibility programming creates a natural alignment with an organization’s social impact goals. Meetings professionals can understand DC’s commitment to diversity and create lasting change in DC beyond the immediate economic impact of their event.
New in DC
Seven Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo have reopened throughout May. Also coming back online: Ford’s Theatre (May 12), National Gallery of Art (May 14), Rotunda of the National Archives Building (May 15), and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (May 17). For the latest, visit washington.org.
Recently opened and forthcoming hotels: Hotel Madera opened mid-February in Dupont Circle; Cambria Hotel Washington D.C. Capitol Riverfront opened mid-February in Capitol Riverfront; The Ven at Embassy Row opened mid-March in Dupont Circle; Lyle opened in April in Dupont Circle; Kimpton Banneker Hotel opens late spring in Logan Circle.
Anniversaries: DC celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution, 100th anniversary of The Phillips Collection and 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2021.
DC Forecast and Current Pandemic Economic Impact
Looking ahead, domestic visitation to DC is estimated to be between 14-15 million in 2021, up about 50 percent over 2020 (estimated at 10 million domestic visitors). Domestic visitation could rise to between 18-19 million by 2022, up about 90 percent over 2020. DC hotels can expect 5.7 million rooms in demand in 2021, which is more than double 2020. Due to the pandemic, total visitor spending in DC is down 68 percent or $6.1 billion. DC hotel revenue is down 84 percent, or $2.1 billion.
About: DDC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization 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.
 source: Tourism Economics
 source: Tourism Economics; March 2020 through March 2021
 source: STR; mid-March 2020 through the beginning of April 2021