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Destination DC Partners with Student & Youth Travel Association

Destination DC partners with SYTA during 25th Anniversary of Annual Conference and Reiterates Importance of Student Travel in the Nation’s Capital

Washington, DC - Destination DC is proud to partner with the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) for its annual conference in the nation’s capital from Aug. 26-30. Celebrating 25 years, the conference is the largest convening in North America where student travel professionals meet to collaborate and advance the student travel industry. This year, the conference welcomes 850+ industry leaders and decision-makers to celebrate the return of student travel and experience new city offerings.


“Travel can change lives and introduce students to new ways of thinking beyond the classroom,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO, Destination DC. “We appreciate SYTA’s recognition of everything DC has to offer the important student market, across amazing museums, monuments and memorials, most of which are free, as well as unique programming and experiential travel.”


“SYTA is thrilled to return to our nation’s capital to celebrate 25 years of student travel,” said Carylann Assante, CEO, SYTA and SYTA Youth Foundation. “Working with Destination DC and its partners allows our membership to experience what makes Washington, DC a top student travel destination.”


For many students around the U.S., an overnight trip to the nation’s capital is a much-anticipated rite of passage that complements their American history studies. Washington, DC has long hosted student travelers from all over the world. The city provides groups an abundance of unique itinerary options extending beyond history and including STEAM as well as educational tours, dining and evening attractions and activities. DDC’s Learning on Location video series focuses on specific topics for students and educators including cultural diversity, voting rights, Black history and more.

Student Travel Outlook
Approximately one million students visit Washington, DC annually. In 2019, the student travel market represented $185 billion in tourism revenue in the U.S. In 2021, SYTA’s participating tour operators and agencies organized domestic student group travel for more than 80,000 students, which represents a 26% year-over-year decline over 2020. The expectations for 2021 (242,176 students) were compromised by the ongoing pandemic. With mobility resuming in 2022, 452,957 students are expected to take part in domestic group travel. The average group size for 2021 was 52 students. Student travel is expected to fully rebound by 2024*.

New in DC for Students
Along with its abundance of mostly free museums, monuments and memorials, Washington, DC continues to add new attractions for educators and student travel. New museum additions include eight renovated exhibitions at the reimagined Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum (opens Oct. 14), the National Museum of American Diplomacy located in the U.S. Department of State and dedicated to the history, practice and challenges of American diplomacy (opens late 2022), the Capital Jewish Museum (opening TBD) and Planet Word, a voice-activated and immersive language museum. Additions to the National Mall also include the Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial and the U. S. Park Police Horse Stables and Equestrian Center’s new education center.

Destination DC and partners and member organizations will showcase this year’s sponsors to 600+ attendees at the opening night welcome event: The Capital of Explorations: A Night Celebrating 25 Years of Student & Youth Travel hosted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Kogod Courtyard in conjunction with Virginia Tourism Corporation and Maryland Office of Tourism Development. Sightseeing tours of the city will be offered during the five-day event.

This year’s sponsors include National Harbor, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Broadway at the National, Ford’s Theatre, Pinstripes, City Cruises by Hornblower, Encore, Hargrove, from Encore, Unlimited Biking, Big Bus, ARTECHOUSE, Macerich, The Mansion on O & O Street Museum, Pinstripes, Six Flags America, Visit Baltimore, National Harbor, and USA Guided Tours.


Destination DC, 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.

SYTA is the non-profit, professional trade association that promotes student & youth travel and seeks to foster integrity and professionalism among student and youth travel service providers. SYTA is "The Voice of Student and Youth Travel.®"

*Student travel data: SYTA Student Travel Business Barometer Annual Report 2021


Susan O’Keefe, media relations manager, trade 202-789-7079; [email protected]

August 25, 2022

Media Contacts

Danielle Davis
Vice President of Communications
Susan O'Keefe
Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, Trade
Nicole Nussbaum
Global Media Manager
Goldy Fogel
Global Media Manager
Kyle Deckelbaum
Domestic Media Relations Manager
Claire Deegan
Communications Coordinator
(202) 789-7059