DC Officials Hope for Last-Minute Inauguration Tourism Boost - NBC4 Washington
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DC Officials Hope for Last-Minute Inauguration Tourism Boost

Trump is expected to get about the same turnout as Obama got in 2013

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Inauguration Countdown: A Look at Expected Tourism Impact

    D.C. tourism officials are hoping to see a last-minute boost in hotel bookings before Jan. 20. News4's Mark Segraves reports from the inaugural parade route. (Published Monday, Jan. 2, 2017)

    One million people are expected to head to D.C. this month for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, and tourism officials are hoping even more people will opt to travel to the city.

    Trump is expected to draw about the same number of people to D.C. that Obama attracted for his second inauguration in 2013, but far fewer than the 1.8 million Obama attracted in 2009.

    Hotel owners were hoping to see an immediate flood in bookings after Trump won, but it didn't happen, said Elliott Ferguson, the president of the D.C. destination marketing group Destination DC.

    "I think if it had gone any other direction, hotels would be full by now," he said.

    Ferguson said he hopes tourism numbers will pick up in the less than three weeks that remain before Trump takes office.

    "There's a lot of momentum, not only for the inauguration but, interestingly enough, for the march that takes place the next day," he said, referring to the Women's March on Washington.

    For Obama's first inauguration, 90 percent of hotels were full, according to Destination DC. For his second inauguration, 70 percent were full.

    This year, a 70 percent hotel occupancy rate would be a big win, Ferguson said.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that whether you're headed to the Mall to celebrate or to protest, you will be safe.

    "We do this every four years. The interest, the people change from year to year, but our Department of Homeland Security, our police department has been working with federal officials for months, even before the winner of the election was determined," she said. "We'll be ready."