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International Tourism Management: Washington DC

Overview of Washington as Tourist Destination

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According to a report released by Destination DC, the city’s tourism bureau,Washington DC received 19.3 million domestic visitors in 2015, who spent a massive $7.1 billion during their stay there (Destination DC 2016). The report highlights the importance of Washington as a tourism center. Washington Dc is a booming tourist destination with a wide array of offerings ranging from the White House, to monuments, buzzing nightlife, shopping centers, museums, and burgeoning food. The available attractions have made Washington a destination of choice for millions of visitors whose presence injects revenue to businesses and the state of Washington. The number of tourists and spending data is an indication of the fruits of tourist investment in Washington. To aid in the discussion of the success of Washington as a tourist destination of choice, the Calgary model and the Butler life cycle will be discussed. The two concepts have an influence on the influx of tourists into Washington and discussion will cover their influence. Washington is a popular tourist destination based on the number of visitors annually due to its blend of factors that attract tourist interest.

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Climate

On average,Washington receives 43 inches of rain annually (US Climate Data 2016). The average rainfall in the United States is 37 inches (US Climate Data 2016). Average level of snowfall in Washington is 13 inches (US Climate Data 2016). On average, cities in the United States get 25 inches of snow annually. The average number of days that precipitation is experienced is 115 (US Climate Data 2016). Washington experiences an average of 213 sunny days annually. For those who love the sun, this represents pleasant weather for moving around during the day most days of the year. The highest temperature in July average 87 degrees which is the highest while the lowest are experienced around January where the low is 26. The climate in Washington makes it one of the most comfortable states in terms of weather. The data is shown in Appendix 1.

Destination Aesthetics

Washington is home to both natural and manmade aesthetic beauty. Natural scenery includes mountains and lakes that dot the landscape. Granite Mountain for instance has outstanding views from its peak of the surrounding landscape, in addition to being a spectacular sight on its own. Among the sights that can be seen from Granite Mountain include Crystal Lake, Kaleetan Peak and Mount Rainier. Crystal Lake, Kaleetan Peak, and Mount Rainer are wondrous attractions by themselves. Washington is also home to Diablo Lake that is the reservoir for Diablo dam. The water is turquoise getting its color from nearby glaciers that direct a fine powder into the lakes. The landscape offers opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, camping and beautiful photography. Washington is also home to five active volcanoes such as Mount St. Helens that last erupted in 1980.
The level of development in Washington gives it both a natural and artificial appeal. Washington has built structures that include monuments and buildings that serve as tourist attractions. The attractions are attributed to travel trends that are responsible for the influx of visitors to the various attractions in Washington. It is estimated that travel trends in Washington State are similar to trends across the United States. Preliminary data indicates that visitor spending rose by 5% from 2010 to 2011 as shown in Appendix 2 (Dean Runyan Associates 2012). The impact of increased spending by visitors in the same period saw state and local taxes rise by 6.1% and 3.7% respectively (Dean Runyan Associates 2012). Local and state tax revenues are mainly made up of sales taxes. The Dean Runyan Associates report also observes that there was decline in federal taxes due to the decrease in the payroll tax rate paid by employees (2012). Tourism also affected employment, with a growth in travel related employment of 2.1% from the year 2010 (Dean Runyan Associates 2012).

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Culture

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In relation to tourism, culture is the set of beliefs that are manifested in the way of life of people. The beliefs affect how people live their lives, how they dress, how they aet, the forms of entertainment they enjoy and the general social environment. Washington is characterized by diversity in its culture that gives it a unique blend. A wide array of agricultural, marine, industrial and high-tech influences are responsible for the blend of culture experienced in Washington. To begin with, Washington’s history is rich with events taking place that changed the world. The first flight in aviation took place in Washington. Arts and culture are presented in Washington are representative of the different cultures that coexist in Washington;Latino, European, Asian and African descent. The museums and historical enters are evidence of the different influences that affect the cultural blend of Washington.
The United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) published a report that indicated the international tourism industry will experience immense growth over the years (McGuire 2015). UNWTO states that by 2030, the figure will have increased by over 100% (McGuire 2015). Many organizations have taken up to marketing to create awareness and increase sales. Tourist destinations, in collaboration with airlines, hotels, and luxury resorts, have partnered up in some of their marketing campaigns, an approach that is wholesome and effective. Some of the trends affecting this industry include political atmosphere, economic status, income inequality, emerging growth markets, and technology (Gartner & Mihalic 2013).

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