DC broke numerous tourism records in 2015

WASHINGTON — The nation’s capital drew a record number of visitors both domestically and from overseas in 2015, according to new figures released Wednesday by the tourism group Destination DC.

About two million people traveled to the District from other countries last year.

Those international visitors, combined with 19.3 million domestic travelers, pushed the total number up to a record 21.3 million. That is an increase of five percent when compared to 2014.

“We’re really excited with the numbers,” said Destination DC President and CEO Elliott Ferguson. “Clearly the global community has taken notice of Washington as a destination.”

The new figures released Wednesday show overseas visitation was higher than ever before, up 7.8 percent over 2014.

China had the largest number of international travelers to D.C. with 300,000. It was followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, India, South Korea, Brazil, Italy and Japan.

Domestic visitation numbers, which Destination DC first announced in May, were also at a record high and were up 5.3 percent.

In all, travelers spent $7.1 billion in the District over the course of 2015, marking the first time visitor spending has ever topped $7 billion.

“It generates economic development for the city,” said Ferguson. “It’s really good for Washington as a whole.”

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