Australia’s visitor numbers to Washington, DC grew by an impressive 11.1% in 2017, placing Australia firmly in the top six international arrivals markets.

According to the new data from Travel Market Insights, National Travel & Tourism Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2017, one out of every 15 Australian visitors to the U.S. travelled to DC.

Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President and CEO of Destination DC, confirmed the banner year for DC’s tourism industry and identified the company’s investment in the Australian market as having successfully raised awareness and improved intention to travel to the nation’s capital.

“Washington, DC welcomed 2 million overseas visitors last year, 90,000 of whom were from Australia,” said Ferguson. “Australia is an important market for us and we have been highly active in executing impactful marketing programs with our trade industry partners to drive visitation and achieve these record numbers.”

Demonstrating the organization’s continued commitment to the market, Ferguson and a delegation of representatives from Destination DC today touched down in Australia to commence a week-long sales and media mission to promote Washington, DC. The group is meeting with over 250 travel trade contacts and media across five days in three different cities – Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

“While we were thrilled to see growth in overseas visitation, we are faced with certain realities about the political climate and how the U.S. is perceived from a global perspective,” said Ferguson. “That’s why we’re doing everything we can to welcome the global community and increase our presence in Australia and other international markets, both emerging and established.”

DDC also announced plans to sustain the momentum of an uptick in visitation by previewing a new advertising campaign called “Discover the Real DC” (view campaign video). Launching in 2019, the campaign is born from the organisation’s desire to convey authentic Washington, DC experiences.

Washington, DC is set to welcome new hotel inventory to encourage visitation in the year ahead. There are 21 hotels in the pipeline adding 4,764 rooms to the city, including Eaton Workshop opening this month and the Moxy Washington, DC Downtown, opening in October.

New attractions, renovations and exhibits are also a draw, including the National Law Enforcement Museum, opening on 13 October this year. In 2019, citywide programming will surround the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The International Spy Museum moves to L’Enfant Plaza and reopens next autumn. The Washington Monument reopens next year and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Fossil Hall” reopens in June 2019. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ expansion (The REACH) opens on 7 September 2019.

For more development highlights, visit washington.org.