D.C. saw record 21.9M domestic visitors in 2018, say tourism officials

By Andrew Giambrone posted May 17th, 2019 on dc.curbed.com

The Lincoln Memorial
 Shutterstock

The District saw its ninth consecutive year of domestic visitation growth in 2018, according to Destination DC, the city’s official tourism entity. A record 21.9 million U.S. visitors came to the city last year, 1.1 million more than did in 2017, Destination DC noted earlier in May.

“Visitor spending in 2018 amounted to a record $7.8 billion, according to [London-based analytics firm] IHS Markit, up 4.3%, resulting in $851 million in local taxes realized by the District,” the group stated in a release. “Without tourism, nearly 300,000 DC households would have to contribute an additional $2,844 per household in taxes in order to maintain the current level of DC tax receipts.” Leisure and business travelers constituted 61 and 39 percent of U.S. visitors, respectively, and—inversely—43 and 57 percent of their spending.

Destination DC said spending by visitors underwrote more than 76,500 local jobs in 2018. The year before, the District welcomed 20.8 million domestic visitors as well as 2 million international visitors from outside of North America. International visitation for 2018 has not been calculated yet, tourism officials point out, but in 2017 it rose 2.5 percent over 2016.

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