“India continues to be a strong and developing market for Washington, DC,” said Destination DC President and CEO Elliott L. Ferguson, II. “In 2016, one in every 12 visitors from India to the U.S.
visited Washington, DC. We’re excited about the potential for increased business and leisure travel from Indian visitors, especially since the launch of Air India’s direct flight last July and our increase in marketing efforts for 2018.”
In 2016, Washington, DC welcomed 100,000 visitors from India, making it the city’s fifth largest overseas market. Indian visits to the U.S. capital increased 25% over 2015, adding 20,000 more visitors than last year.
A delegation from Destination DC, the official destination marketing organisation for Washington, DC, is on an India visit to support Air India’s new non-stop service connecting New Delhi to Washington, DC. In partnership with Air India and Washington Dulles International Airport, the delegation members visited Mumbai, Hyderabad and are finally in the Capital.
According to Travel Market Insights Inc., visitors from India to Washington, DC ranked sightseeing, shopping, and visiting national parks and monuments among their top three activities. Washington DC’s incredible museums and art galleries, exceptional dining and nightlife scene, high-end designer retail along with its iconic monuments and memorials make the city a highly desirable destination.
With $11.8 billion in development and more than 4,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, there are many new ways for visitors to experience the city. The Wharf opened in October, transforming the Southwest Waterfront with three new hotels, 20 restaurants, a water taxi, four public piers and three live music venues. Shop Made in D.C., a retail store and cafe devoted to all things made in the nation’s capital, opened Oct. 19. Also during fall, Washington, DC’s updated Michelin Guide to its restaurants was issued and Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler galleries reopened on the National Mall. The Museum of the Bible opened Nov. 17, a hi-tech look at one of the world’s most influential books with free admission.
Destination DC continues to market the destination to India through its DC Cool brand from editorial and social to new promotions with tour operators. The organization launched a series of 360° videos with virtual-reality (VR) capabilities on washington.org. Visitors to the Discover DC in 360° landing page can explore nearly 40 one-minute-long immersive videos from their desktop, smart phone or tablet. Social media engagement and user-generated content through #MyDCcool, a hashtag used nearly 250,000 times, provides authentic inspiration for travelers through the perspective of real-time experiences.
Looking ahead, Major League Baseball celebrates America’s pastime in the nation’s capital for the first time in nearly 50 years during MLB All-Star Week July 13-17. In fall 2018, the popular International Spy Museum moves to a new location near L’Enfant Plaza and doubles its footprint.