Destination DC plans Special Agent Academy revamp and increases investment in NZ

Destination DC plans Special Agent Academy revamp and increases investment in NZ

Washington, DC has reiterated its commitment to the New Zealand market as the destination continues to invest in boosting international visitation.

Canuckiwi’ s Corey Marshall, account director - Destination DC, Australia and New Zealand says this market has seen increased budgets deployed across the country on programmes with wholesalers and travel trade, OTAs,  consumer media partners and brand partnerships to inspire visitation. 

‘As well as this, Destination DC is currently fully revamping its Special Agent Academy which will launch to the market later this year,’ adds Marshall.

More people visited Washington, DC in 2023 than ever before – 25.95 million total visitors (including domestic), up 17% from 2022 and surpassing the pre-pandemic record set in 2019.

Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC says the destination is seeing the results of increased marketing and sales efforts thanks to the tourism recovery district legislation. ‘There is still work to do, however, since international travel hasn’t fully recovered. The additional funding allows us to continue to entice international visitors who stay longer and spend more.’

The 1.95 million international visitors indicate an 85% return compared to 2019, but a 40% increase year-over-year. 

In terms of developments, the Folger Shakespeare Library, a Capitol Hill landmark which holds the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, reopens next week.

A new tech-driven White House visitors centre, The People’s House, opens this autumn, as does the city’s first Arlo hotel (October).

The Salamander, along the revitalized Southwest Waterfront, is expected to complete its phased enhancements. The St. Regis, Four Seasons and Capital Hilton have all unveiled renovations, while rebrands include the Hotel Nell – Union Market and Hotel AKA Washington Circle.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has announced that two giant pandas are returning by the end of the year. The zoo will be one of only two in the US to see the animals and the only one with free entry.

In 2026, Washington, DC will host a yearlong celebration commemorating America’s 250th anniversary throughout the city’s cultural institutions, museums, attractions, restaurants and hotels.

DDC launched its There’s Only One DC campaign last November, spotlighting the diversity of experiences and free things to do.

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