Discover the real D.C. campaign aims to attract international visitors to the city

 Thursday, August 30, 2018 


Destination DCThe marketing agency promoting ‘D.C. Cool’ for last five years, now wants visitors to “discover the real D.C.”—or at least Ben’s Chili Bowl and Chuck Brown.

Destination DC unveiled a new ad campaign yesterday, which is aimed at potential visitors with the message that this city is not merely a political cesspool.

Said artist Aniekan Udofia, “When you mention Washington, the first thing people mention is politics. There’s a whole world that people are not familiar with. We who live here we know it has this vibration that spreads. There’s a culture here. There’s art. There’s entertainment.”

Destination DC also announced that 2017 marked the eighth year of consecutive growth in tourism. The city saw 20.8 million domestic visitors, which is an increase of 4.2 percent, and 2 million foreign travelers, which is an increase of 2.5 percent. The organization estimates that tourism pumped $7.5 billion into the District’s economy last year.

But marketers believe that their best bet for attracting international tourists is to downplay the city’s connections to the federal government. “While we were thrilled to see growth in overseas visitation, we are faced with certain realities about the political climate and how the U.S. is perceived from a global perspective,” said Destination DC president Elliott Ferguson. “That’s why we’re doing everything we can to welcome the global community and increase our representation internationally in established and emerging markets.”

The city’s boutique hotels have already been attracting guests with the promise of living like a local for some time.


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