Convention Sales Team Books More than One
Million Hotel Room Nights,
Washington.org Attracts Nearly 6 Million Unique
DC)ÖOct. 29, 2007 - The Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation
(WCTC), the official destination marketing organization for the District
of Columbia, posted the strongest performance figures in its history as
it closed the fiscal year September 30, 2007. WCTC is a private, not-for-profit
organization of nearly 1,000 businesses that is responsible for generating
economic development for the city through tourism and meetings.
"Travel and tourism is a $5.24 billion business for the District and
WCTC is a powerful force in creating and facilitating new meetings and
leisure business for this city every single day," said Dan Mesches, current
chairman of WCTC and President and CEO of Star Restaurant Group.
Meeting & Convention Performance
During its fiscal year, WCTC staff booked meetings into the Walter E.
Washington Convention Center and throughout the city that will generate
more than 1.2 million hotel room nights representing $1.1 billion in direct
spending by attendees. Combined with prior yearsí efforts, WCTC has racked
up more than 3.6 million room nights for future years representing $2.4
billion in direct spending. Of that, nearly 2.8 million room nights will
be generated by meetings and conventions booked into the convention center
from 2008 through 2023.
In 2008, 18 citywide conventions will take place at the convention
center, including lucrative meetings for the American Psychiatric Association,
American College of Physicians and the National Black MBA Association.
For the important summer months, when hotel occupancy reaches some
of its lowest points, WCTC booked the DC-based National Education Association,
which will attract 17,000 attendees who will spend $19.3 million
in the city over the July 4 holiday. Also in July, the Alpha Kappa Alpha
Sorority will celebrate its 100th anniversary with its Biennial Boulé;
this show will draw 10,000 sorority sisters consuming more than 31,000
hotel room nights. WCTC successfully lured a major corporate meeting, the
GE Healthcare 2008 User Summit, which will generate 13,000 room nights
and $3.9 million in delegate spending in August. DCís own AARP will celebrate
its 50th anniversary at the convention center in September with its annual
membership event, drawing an estimated 25,000 members.
Leisure/Consumer Marketing Performance
According to LiveStats web tracking service, WCTC increased visitation
to DCís official tourism website, Washington.org, by 20% - generating nearly
6 million unique visits. More than 16,000 hotel rooms were booked
as part of travel packages on the website; packages booked on Washington.org
alone generated nearly $9.6 million in spending throughout the city on
hotels, restaurants, entertainment, transportation and shopping. WCTC visitor
services staff personally assisted more than 150,000 visitors by phone
and email, providing them insider tips, visitor guides, maps and recommendations.
Based on findings from an independent study conducted by Strategic
Marketing & Research Inc., WCTCís $550,000 summer consumer marketing
campaign attracted 453,457 incremental visitors that spent $98.5 million
in the District and left $5 million in taxes specifically to the District
government. For every dollar invested in the marketing effort, WCTC returned
$9.07 in tax revenue for the District of Columbia.
WCTC generated domestic media coverage worth nearly $12 million in
advertising equivalency (if WCTC would have had to buy the space). In the
United Kingdom and Germany, Washington, DC received $5.8 million in editorial
coverage. WCTCís staff hosted 112 journalists and provided information
for 700 stories/articles, proactively pitching story ideas about Washington,
DCís hospitality green efforts, revitalized neighborhoods, restaurant scene
and new product development throughout the city.
WCTCís tourism sales efforts spanned 30 countries and included dozens
of domestic travel trade shows for markets such as student and motor coach
travel. These efforts garnered 67,452 hotel room nights throughout the
destination and nearly 230 leads for group business for restaurants, tour
guides, attractions and transportation companies.
About the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation:
The Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation, the lead destination
marketing organization for the nationís capital, is a private, non-profit
membership organization of nearly 1,000 businesses committed to marketing
the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination
with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.