Last year, Washington DC estimated that it had 19.3 million tourists and the region is hoping for even more this year, particularly during the spring. In order to encourage visitors, Destination DC, the lead tourism marketing organization for the nation’s capital, teamed with ad agency Fuseideas to introduce "Spring in DC,” an experiential event aimed at New Yorkers to generate awareness and increase travel to the nation’s capital to experience the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The campaign took over a portion of the main terminal in NYC’s Penn Station., which serves over 600,000 commuter rail and Amtrak passengers a day, making it the busiest passenger transportation facility in the United States. Placement was designed to appeal to winter-weary New Yorkers that warmth and flowers will be arriving soon. The program also included a social media giveaway that offered a pair of free round-trip tickets via Amtrak to Washington, DC to one lucky winner to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. The trip, from New York or Philadelphia, also included a two-night stay at the Topaz Hotel and $100 Gift Certificate to the Fire Fly restaurant.
The event, which began in March, received over 500 contest entries in six hours and over 1,400 visitors were served free coffee, espresso, and lattes while waiting in line.
Such campaigns help lure tourists to DC. In 2013, visitors spent $80.15 million as a result of its marketing campaigns according to Destination DC. The organization is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 850 businesses.