“You’re going to have a lot of upset clients,” Travel Agents were warned, should they continue trying to squeeze a visit to Washington DC into a half-day excursion.

The cautionary advice was delivered last night by Elliott L. Ferguson of Destination DC, who stressed that “there’s no such thing as a day trip (or less) to Washington DC”.

Speaking to a room full of consultants in Sydney, the tourism body’s President and Chief Executive said that although Australian visitation to the USA’s capital is growing (and despite previous warning), there’s still a misconception of the city’s tourism appeal.

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Elliott L. Ferguson says there’s no such thing as a half-day trip to Washington DC.

“Our goal is to expose you to the things you know about the city (monuments, memorials and museums) and the things you don’t (sporting, nightlife, theatre and restaurants).”

Elliott L. Ferguson, Destination DC President & Chief Executive

And expose, he did.

The Ovolo Woolloomooloo events room was transformed into a mini version of the capital where consultants discovered that the city’s tourism slogan is pretty accurate – DC (is) Cool.

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Image: Ridwan Meah/Unsplash

They learned of the destination’s Cherry Blossom Season (thanks to a special gift from the Japanese years earlier) and competed in a game of b-ball (basketball). There was a taste of the city’s culinary scene (mmm, cheese) and opportunities to groove to local music.

Then two lucky attendees won trips to Washington DC with flights covered by United Airlines and accommodation by Kimpton Boutique Hotels.

“We love the fact that folks are learning more about our destination and discovering how cool we are.”

Elliott L. Ferguson, Destination DC President & Chief Executive

 

HOW POPULAR IS THE DESTINATION AMONG AUSSIE TRAVELLERS?

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Image: Susie Ho/Unsplash

So popular that Elliot and his team make an effort to fly Down Under every year.

Australia is the sixth-largest international market to Washington DC, a position held firm last year thanks to a 12.6 percent increase in visitation.

In fact, according to figures produced by the US Department of Commerce, one out of every 15 Australians who travel to the US will visit DC – that’s a HUGE opportunity for Agents to build on.

“We’re in the market every year because Australia is extremely important to us,” Ferguson explained.

 

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT DC?

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Image: Washington.org

A lot, but the crux of it is that Washington DC is undergoing a slight makeover with re-openings and renovations.

In 2019, the Washington Monument opened along with the International Spy Museum. There was also the introduction of The REACH at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts as well as new hotel openings including the Conrad Washington DC by Hilton, the Moxy by Marriott, and The Eaton.

Click here to learn more about the city.