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Washington, D.C.: The Tourism Hub

By Gabrielle Holland, Howard University News Service
On December 4, 2017

Museums, monuments, and more help bring tourists to Washington, D.C. From taking pictures next to the name of your state, or visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture to learn lessons from the past, Washington has much to offer.

Just last year, D.C. had a record of 22 million visitors in 2016, according to washington.org. There were 2 million overseas visitors in the District in 2015.  

Destination DC makes it a point to attract tourists to the city with options on what to do.

“It’s an organization company that markets and manages DC as a first-tier destination city for all things tourism, all things meetings, special events, conference,... anything within those realms,” explains Khadijah Nimrod, convention sales assistant.

According to Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC, “Destination DC is important simply because we’re an economic development organization, and every destination is focusing on growing its community through economic development...it’s the fact that we employ over 75,000 people… and of course, it creates over $7 billion a year in economic revenue for the city.”

If you’re stuck on what to do in the District, washington.org provides a list of activities in the city. Activities are split up into categories such as free events, museums, and entertainment. There is also an option to search for events on a specific date, making it easier for people to plan ahead.

According to washington.org, $2.51 billion was spent on lodging, while $2.10 billion was spent on food and beverages in 2016. “When visitors are coming to the city, and then leaving and talking about their experience they’re saying 'wow, I didn’t know DC was so green, I went to see a play while I was there, I went to see a sporting event, did some shopping, ate at some phenomenal restaurants,' and these are things that resonate with future visitors,” Ferguson says.

“DC is a very touristy city. I used to visit myself as a tourist from Baltimore. Me and my family used to come up to visit museums and monuments,” explains ten year DC resident Brittany House.

I love visiting the district! I think that it’s a great place for young black professionals to thrive. On top of that, I absolutely love brunch. So D.C. is a great city for me to visit because there are endless restaurants that have bottomless brunch,” says Ciara Johnson, a tourist.

Washington, D.C. continues to be a hub for tourism, and as 2017 is closer to ending it seems as though tourism in the District is here to stay.

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