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Published on : Thursday, May 11, 2017
Washington DC’s tourism bureau has announced that “The number of U.S. tourists visiting Washington reached 20 million for the first time in 2016, thanks in part by a high-profile new museum on the National Mall.”
According to Destination DC, the 20 million visitors was an increase of 700,000 over the previous record of 2015.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in the shadow of the Washington Monument, opened in September and has already drawn more than 1 million people. Admission is free, but unlike other Smithsonian institutions, the museum is using timed entry passes to manage the crowds.
Visitors also were drawn to Washington by new and refurbished hotels. By far, the highest-profile hotel to open last year was Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, five blocks from the White House, which quickly drew visitor attention.
Michelin released its first travel guide for Washington in October and 11 restaurants in the city. Tourism in Washington decreased after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and again during the recession of 2007-2009. But the number of visitors has increased steadily over the past several years.
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