From The Washington Post and written by Aaron Greg — image courtesy of John Kelly/The Washington Post
The nation’s capital chalked up its best year yet for tourism in 2016, boosted by the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a lively presidential election, some 15 citywide conventions, and such events as an Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament.
Destination D.C., the city’s tourism arm, reported that 20 million people from across the United States visited last year and spent about $7.3 billion, according to data analyzed by the travel research firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates. That’s a 3.6 percent improvement over 2015 that tops off a seven-year climb for tourism in the city.
The data released last week does not include visits by international travelers; that information is traditionally released later. International travel could be hurt in 2017 by worries over travel bans and new immigration restrictions. But domestically, tourism is likely to hold up, if for no other reason than the city has already held a presidential inauguration and has been the site of several large national weekend protests, which tend to include a portion who stay in hotels and extend their stays.