Washington DC maybe in news for many reasons but Destination DC team is actively marketing the capital region as a hot destination for tourists. The team was in Mumbai for the first time on Wednesday to educate the travel trade on its many attractions. The US capital hosting IPW, the nation’s lead trade event for the first time in June 2017 is expected add to the regions popularity.
Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC said: “There are 100 free things to do in the city, including the national zoo with its popular pandas. Newest museum of African American History and Culture is in great demand and requires on to book well in advance. Popular 10 year old Spy Museum is moving to a new building. District Wharf, a new attraction will be ready by second quarter next year.”
Museum of Bible, opening in October 2017 will feature all religions and their role in shaping societies. Other than museum visits, sightseeing, shopping, visits to national parks are popular.
Mr Ferguson said: “Washington DC has very good dining and entertainment options and hosts many festivals. Tourist season begins with cherry blossom festival with beautiful blossoms.”
Japan had gifted cherry trees 105 years ago. #myDCCool, the new online campaign for visitors to share their pictures, videos and experiences has already attracted 60,000 responses, highlighting popular as well as lesser known attractions.
Michael Martin, Manager International Marketing, IPW said: “IPW 2017 held in Washington DC for the first time from 1 to 5 June will be a good time for travel trade professionals to understand the destination better. We have experienced steady participation from Indian market with 15 delegates annually and aim to increase the delegate numbers in 2017 and beyond.” IPW is organised by U.S.Travel Association. 2017 will be India-US Travel & Tourism partnership Year.
Washington DC has 4987 hotel rooms and an equal number with additional 24 hotels are in the pipeline. New Trump International Hotel has opened in September this year in a heritage post office building less than a mile away from the White House.
1.13 mn Indian travellers visited the US last year. DC region includes Maryland and Virginia. 80,000 Indian tourists visited and stay for an average of 30 nights in the region while their average stay for US is 18 nights. Indian visitations to the region have increased by 70 percent since 2013.
Mr Ferguson said: “India is currently the sixth biggest and a strong emerging market for us and we anticipate that to be growing with leisure travel and business development. Our goal is to get a direct flight from Indian cities to Dulles airport in the near future.” Washington Dulles International Airport is 30 miles away and is served by 39 airlines flying nonstop to 50 international destinations. Currently there are 22 ways to connect to DC from India with just one transit airport. Reagan National Airport, the nearest, is 6 miles away from DC.
Washington DC delegation also met travel industry professionals in New Delhi and Hyderabad.
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti