Destination DC goes on 'Power Trip' to tout city

WASHINGTON: Destination DC, formerly known as the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, launched a branding effort on April 2 to promote the city's "hidden" attractions, as well as its famous locales.

WASHINGTON: Destination DC, formerly known as the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, launched a branding effort on April 2 to promote the city's "hidden" attractions, as well as its famous locales.

Burson-Marsteller's DC office will lead the $2.5 million "Power Trip" effort, which runs though July 2008 and plays on common associations of Washington with politicians, lobbyists, and major news events. The campaign calls on visitors to define their own "power trip" - as a visit to a baseball game, say, or a cruise along the Potomac, rather than sticking to the traditional DC landmarks.

Burson director Gail Walters, the account lead, said the effort's goal is to broaden the city's appeal. Campaign targets include families that are visiting the National Mall, younger couples interested in sophisticated restaurants, lovers of the outdoors, and "knowledge seekers" who are interested in architecture, literature, and more.

Media outreach includes local TV, radio, and print media that cover how the city is now being marketed, as well as, in various national travel and tourism publications. Along with print and TV ads, the campaign will produce online marketing centered around Destination DC's Web site, http://www.washington.org/.

Redesigned by DC-based Pappas Group, the site includes interactive sections inviting comment from DC-area residents on their favorite local haunts. It also includes event, restaurant, and nightlife listings, as well as other information for visitors to "create your own power trip."

Officials speaking at an event unveiling the campaign, which succeeds a prior one called "The American Experience," said other cities like New York and Orlando outspend Washington on marketing, but DC possesses many top-notch attractions that it previously failed to highlight.

"Washington may be seen as a government town, but tourism is our industry," said Mayor Adrian Fenty (D). "It's a $5.24 billion industry that generates more than $560 million in taxes to help make our city run. [This] is a new call to action. [It's] about making a trip to DC your own."

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