Destination DC's 2012 Marketing Outlook Meeting

Courtesy | 8/30/2012, 11:34 a.m.

The official convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC, Destination DC serves as the lead organization to successfully manage and market Washington, DC as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination, with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historical communities. By executing sales and marketing strategies, Destination DC generates economic development for the city through tourism and meetings.

How impactful is the travel and tourism industry on Washington, DC?

In 2011, visitor spending totaled $6 billion, representing more than $662 million in new tax dollars for the District of Columbia. Washington, DC welcomed a record 17.9 million visitors in 2011 -- a number that tops the District's previous record of 17.4 million total visitors, set in 2000. The hospitality industry is the second largest employer, after the federal government, in Washington, DC.

Is Destination DC a non-profit or for-profit corporation?

Destination DC (Washington.org) is a private, non-profit corporation with a membership of more than 800 businesses and organizations that support the DC travel and tourism sector. A contracting arm of Events DC, the organization is funded by a percentage of DC's hotel occupancy tax, along with membership dues and co-operative marketing fees.

What is the purpose of the annual Marketing Outlet Meeting?

MOM outlines the 2013 economic forecast for travel and tourism in the nation's capital and presents Destination DC representatives of member businesses with co-ops for FY2013.

What are the travel and tourism trends that were discussed at the 2012 Marketing Outlook Meeting?

The four major trends are:

* DC enjoyed record visitation and spending in 2011. And according to Dr. Suzanne Cook, the city looks on track to continue this trend in 2012, in part to robust leisure and international markets led by Brazil and China.

* The travel and tourism industry in Washington, DC continues to benefit from diversity of its bases (business and leisure) and travelers' place of origin (domestic and international).

* Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, travelers should continue to exhibit their increasing consumer confidence. Visitors to DC are spending more and staying longer. Marked increases in visitation on the National Mall and at Smithsonian Institution museums indicate visitors to DC are also more active.

* DC hotels tends to have a higher occupancy, ADR (average daily rate) and RevPAR (revenue per available room) compared to properties in other cities around the country. That said, growth of ADR in 2012 and 2013 is slower than the US overall because DC held its value more acutely than most during the recession.

Who is Elliott L. Ferguson?

Elliott Ferguson serves as President and CEO of Destination DC. Starting his tenure with the organization as Vice President of Convention Sales and Services, Elliott led the organization's effort to promote Washington, DC as a premier meeting and convention destination. A twenty-year veteran of the CVB industry, Ferguson has been with Destination DC since December 2001. Prior to working at Destination DC he served as Vice President of Sales at the Atlanta, Georgia CVB.

Who is keynote speaker Dr. Suzanne Cook?

Dr. Cook was a senior vice president of research at the U.S. Travel Association (1977-2010) and runs her own company Suzanne Cook Consulting. She earned a PhD in Social Psychology from George Washington University in 1987.

A brief history of Destination DC:

Formerly known as the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation (WCTC), the office was re-named Destination DC in 2008 to reflect the organization's increased emphasis on the city's unique assets. WCTC was established by business and community leaders in April 2001 by merging the Washington, DC Convention and Visitors Association and the DC Committee to Promote Washington. The Washington, DC Convention and Visitors Association was founded in 1931 to promote convention and leisure travel to the nation's capital.