Another record year for DC tourism: 22.8M visitors

WASHINGTON — D.C. welcomed a record 22.8 million tourists in 2017, up 3.6 percent from 2016.

International tourists accounted for 2 million of the total, up 2.5 percent.

“We’ve seen eight years of consecutive growth. At the end of the day, what we do to attract visitors is economic development, resulting in $7.5 billion spent by travelers,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC.

Destination DC says in 2017, tourism directly accounted for more 75,048 jobs, exceeding 75,000 for the first time since 2013.

According to IHS Markit, domestic and international spending was up 3.1 percent and surpassed $7 billion for the third time.

Business travel accounted for 41 percent of D.C. visitors last year, and 60 percent of spending. Leisure spending increased by 5.9 percent and business spending was up 1.3 percent.

Destination DC also unveiled its new advertising campaign called “Discover the Real DC“, targeting D.C.’s domestic markets along the East Coast as well as Chicago and Los Angeles.

The top 10 overseas markets for D.C. in 2017 were, in order of number of visitors, China, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, France, Australia, India, Japan, Spain and Italy.

International visitors spend more, accounting for 9 percent of total tourists last year but 27 percent of visitor spending.


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