DDC Highlights Meeting With Purpose at PCMA Convening Leaders 2023

Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, D.C., provided an update on the benefits of meeting in the nation’s capital, along with the organization’s convention sales and services strategies to attract events of all sizes, at the PCMA Convening Leaders 2023.

In 2023, there are 18 citywide conventions (defined as meetings, bringing 2,500 room nights to the city on peak), with an estimated 363,863 room nights. Meetings and events continue to play a crucial role in the city’s post-pandemic recovery. Also supporting recovery efforts, on January 3 this year, the Council of the District of Columbia approved Tourism Recovery District legislation, a temporary 1 percent increase in the hotel tax that will go to DDC to market the destination and raise over $20 million per year for four years. The temporary fee will make D.C.’s tax rate 15.95 percent from April 2023 through March 2027.

The convention sales and services team continues to highlight resources for business event strategists only available in the nation’s capital under its “Connected” positioning.

With $9.3 billion in development, investment in the city continues:

  • The new Metrorail Silver Line connects Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown D.C. Dulles airport will add a LEED Silver-certified, $675 million 14-gate concourse in 2026.
  • Phase Two of the Wharf opened in October, expanding the sustainable waterfront area by a mile with public green spaces, a new Pendry hotel and two Gordon Ramsay restaurants. The Wharf is designed to achieve LEED ND Gold.
  • Part of the greater Southwest neighborhood, the waterfront area is designated the first-ever Mobility Innovation District (MID). The MID aims to “create a global innovation hub to show how mobility innovation can make a city more equitable, sustainable, safe and prosperous,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. Circuit, a micro-transit company that works in all-electric, on-demand transportation solutions, will create a new mobility service.

There are over 26 new hotels or renovations in the pipeline, adding more than 5,892 new or renovated rooms in eight neighborhoods. New hotels include:

  • The 247-room Holiday Inn Express, less than one mile from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, includes a large living room-style lobby with daily hot breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • The 203-room Morrow Washington DC in NoMa has 6,000 square feet of event space, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, a French restaurant and a rooftop lounge with jazz performances.
  • The 234-room Washington Marriott Capitol Hill, located near Union Station (Amtrak hub), offers 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and an expansive fitness and wellness center
  • The 274-room Royal Sonesta Washington DC Capitol Hill (opening April 2023) has 11,000 square feet of event space including a penthouse conference center with a wraparound terrace, and an onsite French bistro. The hotel will be LEED Gold certified and include a green roof
  • The 445-room Arlo Hotel will incorporate a residential building constructed in the 1880s. It will include a 12-story addition, a fitness center, a signature restaurant and bar, rooftop pool and lounge, and indoor-outdoor event space

Balancing meetings with health and wellness comes with ease in D.C. with over 40 hotels downtown that are central to green spaces on the National Mall and nature-filled hikes in Rock Creek Park. Jogging from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial is a bucket-list experience for business travelers. Electric and non-electric bicycles and scooters offer options for exploring the monuments and memorials or for riding on pathways along the Potomac River with views of Georgetown and the spires of the National Cathedral. D.C.’s hotels are rethinking fitness areas and offering greater wellness amenities and activations for meeting breakouts while restaurants offer locally sourced menus and non-alcoholic beverages. DDC can help customize wellness activities such as morning meditation and yoga with a backdrop of the Washington Monument.

For more information, visit washington.org.

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