Roger Dow, President and CEO
U.S. Travel Association, www.ustravel.org
What sets D.C. apart as a meetings destination?
Because D.C. is the seat of our federal government, of course, it provides the unique opportunity for meeting groups to tie congressional visits in to their program, and advocate for issues important to them and their industry. There’s a great variety of quality hotels at various price points, many with outstanding meetings facilities, plus the centrally-located Walter E. Washington Convention Center for larger gatherings. D.C. is also terrifically accessible, with three airports and Amtrak making it easy and economical to get here from anywhere.
Furthermore, D.C. provides unparalleled cultural attractions. The Smithsonian museums are world-class, and it could take weeks to visit them all. And no other destination in our nation can match D.C.’s spectacular monuments. My personal recommendation: See them at night, they're magical.
What has most changed about the D.C. meetings landscape since you started with Marriott? And, what has stayed true?
Most changed is the quality and number of great neighborhoods, restaurants, nightspots, hotels and meetings facilities, and transportation options for visitors and residents alike. The city has evolved phenomenally since I started with Marriott—D.C. used to be quite limited in these areas, but that is not the case anymore. Destination DC’s current “DC Cool” marketing campaign is more than a slogan—it’s reality, since the D.C. of today has something for absolutely everyone.
What has not changed, however, is the history and drama associated with our nation's capital. There is no better place to witness the pulse of our government, and to view and participate in the legislative process.
Which venues did the U.S. Travel Association showcase to international participants at the 2017 IPW show?
Venues included the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, Newseum, Nationals Park, and breathtaking Washington National Cathedral. Other IPW exhibitors "capital"-ized on opportunities to showcase the city's personality in locales of all sizes, hosting events at places like the Long View Gallery and DAR Constitution Hall. These are among many spaces to consider for hosting memorable events.