As of 21 May, Washington, DC fully reopened for in-person meetings, conventions, tradeshows, groups and special events.
The hospitality alliance, comprised of Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organisation for Washington, DC, Events DC, the Hotel Association of Washington, DC and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, is now leading an industry-wide effort to support meetings customers with a two-fold Still Connected approach. First, is a focus on health standards, and second is a focus on DC’s exclusive benefits that facilitate commerce thriving in the city.
“After more than a year of navigating the pandemic together, it’s clear that nothing replaces face-to-face meetings. As a city, we take protective measures against Covid-19 seriously, and beyond that, meeting in Washington, DC provides many benefits,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “DC is walkable and accessible, and our hospitality partners across venues and event spaces, restaurants and hotels are dedicated to providing an experience that will lead to client success.”
“This year has tested our resilience and demonstrated the incredible strength of our community,” said Greg O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we know there is a pent-up demand for travel and a return to word-class meeting and event experiences in Washington, DC. We’ve spent the last year implementing the latest health and safety protocols to position Events DC as an industry leader and to put the safety of our guests and staff as our highest priority for reopening.”
DDC is a one-stop resource to provide customers with all the health information across transportation, venues, hotels and more on washington.org/meetings.
Events DC, operators of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, has created a comprehensive plan focused on cleanliness and health. The Center, along with other Events DC venues, was awarded GBAC STAR™ certification. New safety equipment includes Kogniz and Certify, both thermal scanner systems to monitor temperature, and FujiTec Ionful, an air purification system.
A copy of the Hospitality Alliance letter to customers can be viewed at: washington.org/meetings.
“DC is connected in many ways that benefit customers and add value. Our strongest sectors include the people and companies impacting our nation’s biggest challenges today: medical, technology and bio-tech and pharma,” said Melissa A. Riley, vice president, convention sales and services. “Meeting in DC attracts more exhibitors, attendees and sponsors with the strong content and programmes that only experts in the region can provide and positively impact commerce.”
The DEI District
DDC has launched The DEI District, a content hub to help showcase Washington, DC as a global destination that promotes and validates diversity, equity and inclusion. Within the Meet section, event planners discover unique venues such as women-owned hotels, active community hubs and sustainable spaces.
Seven Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo have reopened throughout May. Also coming back online: Ford’s Theatre (12 May), National Gallery of Art (14 May), Rotunda of the National Archives Building (15 May ), and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (17 May).
Domestic visitation to DC is estimated to be between 14-15 million in 2021, up about 50% over 2020 (estimated at 10m domestic visitors). The pandemic, however, has seen visitor spending in DC drop 68% or $6.1bn in the period March 2020-March 2021, according to Tourism Economics.