International tourism catalysts

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Catalyze international tourism by hosting IPW, the world’s largest convention of tour operators, and securing a direct India-Dulles flight

Progress Updates:

August 2019: The city welcomed 1.9 million overseas visitors in 2018. DC’s top overseas market was China, with 226,000 visitors, down 25% (Chinese visitation was down to the U.S. overall). However, Chinese length of stay was up 27% and room nights up 72%. Additionally, though overseas visitors only represent 8% of the total number of visitors to DC, international visitors represent 27% of the visitor spending.

October 2018: Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development Brian Kenner and a delegation of government and business leaders attended a China Trade Mission where they visited the cities of Shenzhen and Beijing to discuss tourism, real estate and business opportunities, and technology.

September 2018: International tourism to Washington, DC continues to show positive growth with 2.5% growth in 2017 vs. 2016, bringing a record of 2 million international visitors to the District of Columbia. Partnered with the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority to bring new direct flights:  Volaris (El Salvador to Dulles) and Cathy Pacific (Hong Kong to Dulles).

December 2017: Destination DC conducted a sales mission in India enabled by the new direct route from Dulles to Delhi.

July 2017: Air India’s nonstop flight from Delhi to Dulles begins.  Read more here.

June 2017: DC hosted IPW, the largest international travel show, for the first time.  The event attracted more than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including more than 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers, and a record 530 journalists from the US and abroad.  According to US Travel, IPW is expected to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact to the District and attract more than 1 million visitors to the region during that time.

February 2017: Nonstop service between Delhi and Dulles was announced.  The new route, which will offer three nonstop flights per week starting in July 2017, is estimated to bring $10 million to the District in total economic impact and $30 million annually to the region. Click here for the full press release.

  • Timeline: FY17 (IPW – June 2017, Dulles-Delhi begins summer 2017)
  • Lead and key partners: Destination DC, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
  • Related core sectors: hospitality and tourism, retail
  • Related opportunity areas: n/a
  • Related action areas: DC identity and promotion