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Industry Updates

Marriott Marquis Meeting Space - Washington, DC

Record visitation, a new advertising campaign and international sales initiatives, as well as industry accolades round out the marketing, convention sales and tourism efforts for DDC.

Destination DC Announces Record Visitation in 2017

DDC announced a record 22.8 million total visitors to the nation’s capital in 2017, up 3.6% over 2016. The city welcomed 20.8 million domestic visitors and 2 million overseas visitors, making 2017 the eighth consecutive year of growth. Visitors generated $7.5 billion in spending last year. Learn more from the press release issued Aug. 28.


New Advertising Campaign – “Discover the Real DC”

DDC previewed a new advertising campaign called “Discover the Real DC” under its five-year-old “DC Cool” brand. To inform the campaign, DDC worked with Destination Analysts on custom research in its target domestic markets along the East Coast corridor as well as Chicago and Los Angeles. Eight personas of the visitors likely to visit DC emerged from live interviews and surveys of thousands of consumers. The personas include the Eclectic Cultural Traveler, the Cool Crowd, African-American History Buffs, LGBTQ, Foodies, Political Junkies and Sports Fanatics. For descriptions of each persona, see here.

Discover New Resources on

The meetings portion of, has undergone an extensive revamp and is better than ever. From new sustainable meetings resources to private dining for intimate groups, here are a few articles to check out:


International Business Events Council (IBEC) Collective and IMEX America

DDC will host the inaugural IBEC Collective, pre-IMEX America from Oct. 10-13 for participants to experience Washington, DC’s knowledge economy and help evolve the city’s international sales strategies. DDC unveiled its revamped IBEC program at 2018 IMEX Frankfurt (May 15-17), comprised of an advisory council to support strategic planning and business development. Following the IBEC forum, DDC will attend IMEX America from Oct. 16-18 to further connect with the global meetings industry in Las Vegas. DDC president and CEO, Elliott L. Ferguson II, will hold a press conference on-site.


Washington, DC Stopover Program

For UK travelers looking to spend more time in the Capital Region this summer, DDC has launched a pilot stopover program in collaboration with United Airlines and USAirtours. The pilot program provides UK travelers arriving into and connecting through Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) between Nov. 1, 2018 and Feb. 28, 2019 with a free 2-day stopover option in Washington, DC when booked with US Airtours.


Industry Accolades

During the U.S. Travel Association’s ESTO conference for destination marketing organizations, DDC won a Destiny Award for niche targeting for its Chefs Dish DC video campaign.

DDC Honors Carleigh Dworetzky and Becca Cohen

Two dynamic members of DDC’s convention sales and services team recently received recognition as some of the top rising stars in destination organizations nationwide. Destinations International honored convention strategy manager Carleigh Dworetzky as a member of the 2018 30 Under 30 class for her great work in the hotel community and Connect Association magazine honored conference services manager Becca Cohen as a member of the 2018 40 Under 40 class, recognizing her work as one of the top young professionals in the events industry.

DDC Welcomes New Chair of Board of Directors

Nizam Ali, general manager of Ben’s Chili Bowl, was inducted as the new chair of DDC’s board of directors in June. In addition, DDC welcomed multiple new individuals to the board from various businesses around the city.

New Convention Sales Team Members Join DDC

Allison Johnson and Qingsi Li join DDC’s convention sales team as the new convention sales assistant and executive sales coordinator respectively. Allison is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Qingsi graduated from Macau University of Science and Technology in Macau, China.

For more information, please contact our communications team.