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Destination DC registers record visitation, India emerges as 2nd largest inbound market

Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, announced that Washington, DC experienced its highest-ever influx of visitors in 2023. The city welcomed a total of 25.95 million visitors, marking a notable 17 percent increase from the previous year and surpassing the pre-pandemic record set in 2019. This surge in visitors resulted in a record-breaking $10.2 billion in visitor spending and supported an unprecedented 102,366 local jobs.

Additionally, Washington, DC has emerged as a favoured destination for Indian travellers, with India ranking as the second-largest inbound market according to Destination DC. In 2023, a total of 165,100 Indian visitors travelled to Washington, DC, contributing to a significant spending of $287,400,000.

“India continues to be an important market for Washington, DC tourism, coming in as our #2 overseas market for visitation in 2023. More importantly, India was DC’s top overseas market for 2023 visitor spending. Research shows that the India market prioritizes DC for its arts, culture, luxury amenities and shopping, and we have plans to invest to further expand our market share in 2024 and beyond.” Said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President and CEO, Destination DC.

Of the record 25.95 million total visitors, 24 million travelled domestically. That means domestic visitation has fully rebounded to 105 percent of 2019 figures. International visitation continues to trend towards pre-pandemic levels. The 1.95 million international visitors indicate an 85 percent return, but a 40 percent increase year-over-year. International travellers typically stay longer and spend twice as much as their domestic counterparts. Ferguson further added, “This is a major milestone for Washington, DC. Put simply, we are seeing the results of our increased marketing and sales efforts thanks to the tourism recovery district legislation, and the city is benefiting from increased tourism. There is still work to do, however, since international travel hasn’t fully recovered. The additional funding allows us to continue to entice international visitors who stay longer and spend more.”

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