Congratulations to Destination DC and its local stakeholders for securing a major funding win for DC! On December 22, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a 1% increase in the bed tax rate that will raise an additional $20.7 million per year for Destination DC, almost doubling its current budget. The legislation will be signed within the next couple of months, and the increase will begin on April 1, 2023.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a devesting blow to DC’s tourism industry. While visitation is steadily increasing, the nation’s capital is still seeing the effects of lower visitor spending in the destination. Destination DC, the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. and stakeholders collaborated to forge a temporary solution for the industry. The process to achieve the final outcome of the 1% raise in bed tax was created through the protective lens for the future of the destination. The structure of the resulting increase created boundaries around the funding. These funds will infuse the destination with sustainable funding for leisure domestic and international marketing, capturing bookings in the meetings market, and ensuring industry growth in the years ahead.
“These funds give us the wherewithal to compete with every destination vying for market share and aggressively attract more domestic and overseas visitors,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, of Destination DC. “The bottom line is that increased visitation will benefit residents in Washington, DC, as more visitor spending leads to tax revenue for important city services and local jobs. We appreciate Civitas and the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., as well as local leaders who recognize the importance of what we do as an economic development organization.”
We were delighted to support Elliott and the Destination DC team in this significant win. We know these additional funds will allow Washington, DC, to continue to recover and thrive as a destination.