(Washington, DC) – Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, today announced that pre-COVID-19, the nation’s capital welcomed 24.6 million total visitors, with 22.8 million domestic visitors (up 4.1 percent), and 1.8 million overseas visitors (down 7.9 percent). (Sources: MMGY Travel Intelligence, Travel Market Insights, National Travel & Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce). According to 2019 data from IHS Markit, visitation supported 78,266 jobs across all sectors in Washington, DC, up 2.3 percent from 2018. Tourism also generated $8.2 billion in visitor spending and $896 million in local tax revenue to the District.
Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC, addressed approximately 1,000 attendees virtually at the organization’s annual Marketing Outlook Meeting. He also shared data from Tourism Economics that projects approximately 11 million domestic visitors, down 53 percent,will travel to the city in 2020. However, if a vaccine is available early next year, and if the recession does not deepen in a significant way, that estimate could rise to 20 million by
2022.By comparison, it took the travel industry 10 years to recover following 9/11.