Despite Government Shutdown, “DC is Open” for Meetings

January 21, 2019

We recently wrote about some of the new developments in Washington D.C. that are making the city even more attractive as an event destination. But with the U.S. government shutdown in effect, which has already stretched longer than any other in history, many event organizers are concerned about how this might impact their meeting programs.

Destination DC has been actively campaigning to let the world know that the city is open for business and ready to welcome both meetings and leisure travelers.

The “DC is Open” campaign was first launched in October 2013, during a previous shutdown, and has been redeployed to help visitors navigate the city.

While the Smithsonian museums, National Zoo, National Gallery of Art and National Archives are closed, there are plenty of other great options for activities, according to Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC.

“While DC has always been known for its monuments, museums and memorials, the reality is the city has even more to offer throughout its various neighborhoods that remain open during a government shutdown,” Ferguson said. “It’s a great time to find deals on hotels and attractions.”

He recommends activities such as watching a hockey or basketball game, seeing a show in one of D.C.’s many theaters and exploring the city’s Michelin-rated dining scene.

According to Ferguson, no events have been impacted by the shutdown thus far, but Destination DC has been actively working with planners representing the two citywide events scheduled this month to make sure they have all the information they need.

For example, the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting was held on schedule last week but was luckily not scheduled to use any of the impacted attractions for offsite events.

For any planners who may have upcoming activities booked at venues affected by the shutdown, Destination DC can help.  

“If a planner was utilizing a museum funded by the federal government, we will facilitate other options, such as new venues at The Wharf or the Newseum,” Ferguson said.

Planners and prospective visitors can find real-time updates and shutdown deals here, or follow the hashtag #DCisOpen on Destination DC’s social media channels.

 

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