Destination DC builds tourism campaign around 'Lost Symbol'

WASHINGTON: Destination DC, the city's official convention and tourism corporation, launched a tourism campaign, promoting locations featured in Dan Brown's new book, 'The Lost Symbol,' which is set in Washington.

WASHINGTON: Destination DC, the city's official convention and tourism corporation, launched a tourism campaign, promoting locations featured in Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, which is set in Washington.

"The strategy is to capitalize on a major book release that is already gathering a lot of media attention, but also that fits really well with the product and brand that we promote on a day-to-day basis," said Rebecca Pawlowski, director of communications for Destination DC. "Knowing that there would be a tremendous amount of interest and excitement of this long-anticipated novel, it's a great opportunity for us to play up on the locations and sites that are featured in the book."

Pawlowski also mentioned that a core audience for Destination DC—"history and knowledge seekers"—would be fans of Brown's work and the company can use that interest to increase tourism.

Destination DC, working internally, launched a Web page with information about locations featured in the book, and the campaign is also using its Facebook and Twitter pages to keep people updated on the book and campaign. Destination DC partnered with The Lost Symbol's publisher, Doubleday, on pre-publicity and a giveaway, where winners receive a trip to Washington.

For more traditional media outreach, Destination DC worked with USA Today and the AP on articles focused on the novel, and is responding to media requests, Pawlowski said. She added that Destination DC also has future plans involving the book.

"With Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, specialty tours have come up as a result of that," she said, "so as there are other opportunities to promote tours, where people can experience the sites for themselves, then we'll look for ways to do that."

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