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Posted at 8:44 AM ET, 05/12/2010

Visits to D.C. declined in 2009

By Washington Post editors

New figures show Washington saw a 3 percent decline in visitors last year but could be poised for a recovery in 2010.

Statistics released Tuesday by the tourism bureau Destination D.C. show Washington had about 14.8 million domestic visitors in 2009, down from 15.2 million in 2008.

Visitor spending was down about 7 percent. Travelers spent less on lodging, food, transportation and entertainment.

Still, Destination D.C. President Elliott Ferguson says conventions and tourism brought in more than $5 billion in revenue. And hotels began showing stronger figures in March of this year.

While visitor numbers were down last year in the hospitality industry, the Smithsonian Institution museums saw a 24 percent increase in attendance, counting 30 million visits in 2009.

-- Associated Press

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By Washington Post editors  | May 12, 2010; 8:44 AM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  Business, Hospitality, Hospitality industry, Hotel, Smithsonian Institution, Tourism, Washington  
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That's understandable. I'm sure most vacation spots have experienced some sort of decline.

Posted by: poeticfire | May 12, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the visitors are just not staying in the over-priced hotels in D.C., thus bringing down numbers.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps out-of-town visitors don't feel welcome in the nation's capitol.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | May 12, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

14.8 million domestic visitors in 2009?

just think if each of those visitors drank 24 ounces of soda during their visit and we had that soda tax up and running.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 12, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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