Leadership from Washington, DC’s hospitality and tourism industry confirmed today that 2015 is the sixth consecutive record-breaking year for domestic visitation at Destination DC’s annual Travel Rally themed “Travel’s Winning Formula.”
In 2015, domestic visitation to Washington, DC topped 19.3 million, according to a report prepared by D.K. Shifflet, an increase of 5.3% over 2014. Visitors to DC spent $7.1 billion, according to IHS Global, Inc., a year-over-year increase of 4.1%.
The eighth annual rally, held at the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, coincides with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week, May 1-7, 2016, a national campaign that celebrates the economic impact of the industry.
“In 2015 DC welcomed one million more domestic visitors than it did in 2014,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC, the official tourism and marketing office for the District. “Visitor spending was up $300 million over the previous year. These coveted numbers represent the impact of tourism investment in the nation’s capital. The return on investment study that we commissioned from Destination Analysts determined last year’s spring and summer advertising shows that our city received $2.65 in taxes for every $1 we spent.”
2015 marks the first year that visitor spending has surpassed $7 billion and the fifth consecutive year that it surpassed $6 billion. Spending on accommodations grew by 5.3%. The retail sector grew by 4.7%. Spending on food and beverage was up 5.1% while entertainment spending was up 2.6% over 2014 as well, indicating movement away from cautious recessionary spending. Tourism and hospitality supports more than 74,000 jobs in the District.