DC pushes for 2-day itineraries

Destination DC wants tour operators to increase stay in Washington DC from day trips to 2-3 nights in their itineraries. Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC, shares more.

Hazel Jain

Revisiting the India market after exactly a year, Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO, Destination DC, is keen on understanding the market better.

“My main goal on this trip is to tell the trade about what is happening in Washington DC and how to promote the destination, along with other key cities. Those flying into Washington can spend 2-3 nights or more at the destination, and then take the train to New York city, which is about 3.30 hours from Washington. We have monuments, memorials and museums, also nightlife, theatre, sports, outdoor activities, F&B and, of course, shopping. There are a lot of free things to do for visitors during the day. So, it’s great for visitors on a budget,” he says.

Travel agents can also take advantage of the suggested itineraries that are available on the Destination DC website. Apart from Washington DC, there are other places to see in the region like horse country in Virginia, which is 45 minutes away, Wine Country, the historic Annapolis, and Baltimore, which is 45 minutes away. Agents can tie this up with the Amtrak train to New York City.

“We work closely with other markets to promote the region as a whole. We are also very excited about the non-stop Air India flight from Delhi to Washington DC. We are proud of how efficient customs is at our airport. The connectivity is also great – passengers can get on the metro from airport and come all the way into Washington DC within 45 minutes,” Ferguson adds.

Ferguson visited Mumbai and New Delhi during the trip. In the past, he visited Hyderabad and Chennai. “We will now focus on Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Ludhiana through Indiva Marketing. Secondary cities have large populations that are looking at travelling,” he shares. For Washington DC, India is 4th-largest market, with 147,000 Indian travellers visiting Washington in 2023. “This was up 40 per cent over 2022,” he adds.

 

 

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