Washington, DC has achieved a historic milestone in tourism, welcoming a record 25.95 million visitors in 2023, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and marking a 17 per cent increase from 2022. Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the US capital, highlighted the significant contribution of Indian travellers, who ranked as the second largest inbound market for the city.

The influx of visitors generated a record $10.2 billion in visitor spending and supported 102,366 local jobs, reflecting a substantial economic boost for the city. Notably, 165,100 Indian tourists visited Washington, DC in 2023, contributing $287.4 million to the local economy.

“India continues to be a crucial market for Washington, DC tourism, being our #2 overseas market for visitation in 2023 and the top market for visitor spending,” said Elliott L Ferguson, II, President and CEO, Destination DC. “Our research indicates that Indian travellers prioritise DC for its arts, culture, luxury amenities, and shopping. We plan to invest further to expand our market share in 2024 and beyond.”

Of the 25.95 million visitors, 24 million were domestic travellers, indicating a full rebound to 105 per cent of 2019 figures. International visitation is also recovering, with 1.95 million international visitors marking an 85 percent return to pre-pandemic levels and a 40 percent increase year-over-year. International visitors, who tend to stay longer and spend more, are crucial to the city’s tourism recovery efforts.

Ferguson added, “This milestone reflects the success of our increased marketing and sales efforts. However, there is still work to be done to fully recover international travel. The additional funding allows us to continue attracting international visitors who contribute significantly to our economy.

The surge in tourism has had a profound impact on the city’s economy, with visitor spending up 29 per cent and tourism-related jobs up 25 per cent year-over-year. DDC’s “There’s Only One DC” campaign, launched in November, has played a key role in driving this growth by highlighting the city’s unique experiences and diverse attractions.

Ras Al Khaimah eyes 20 pc increase in tourists footfalls from India

India is the fifth largest source market of Ras Al Khaimah after Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Kazakhstan, he said, adding that this steady growth of Indian tourists underscores the growing appeal of Ras Al Khaimah as a preferred destination for Indian travellers. Further, Phillips said, the majority of Indian tourists visiting Ras Al Khaimah are families, adventure enthusiasts, and wellness seekers.

Washington, DC’s packed calendar of iconic festivals and events, along with a star-studded sports schedule, continues to draw visitors. In 2025, the city will host WorldPride 2025, a two-week festival expected to attract millions, and the 75th NATO Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from July 9-11.In addition to these events, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute announced the return of two giant pandas by the end of the year, making it one of only two zoos in the US to feature these beloved animals and the only one with free entry.

In addition to India, the top international markets for Washington, DC included Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Korea, Mexico, Italy, Spain, China, and Australia.

  • Published On Jun 15, 2024 at 02:43 AM IST

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