- Activity related to Washington, D.C.’s political machinery continues to benefit the area’s economy despite the government shutdown and sequestration. Unemployment in the MSA remains well below that of the nation.
- Visitation levels to D.C. are strong, and visitor spending shot up during 2013, signs that support an overall positive outlook for local business.
- Convention demand in the District is strong, with many large events booked through 2020; the new Marriott Marquis convention headquarters hotel has helped bring in more and larger events, and conventions are expected to trigger tens of thousands of additional room nights for area hotels.
- Market RevPAR neared $160 in 2013—a new peak—and RevPAR growth is expected to continue through 2014.
- Roughly 1,711 hotel rooms have come to the D.C. market since June of 2013, most in the form of the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis. More than 2,550 hotel rooms are under construction or expected to begin development in the market over the next twelve months.
The high concentration of government agencies, employees, and associated non-profit and commercial entities in Washington, D.C. has helped sustain a high standard of living for residents and buffer the area from major economic downturns. Sequestration, federal cutbacks, and a government shutdown hit the Washington, D.C. hotel market hard in 2012/13. Nevertheless, local and federal government activity has resurged, benefitting the area’s economy and hotel industry directly, as well as indirectly through the contractors who bring business to D.C.; associated drivers of demand include law firms, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and global political events.
This economic progress is evidenced on the job front, as well; at 5.4% at the close of 2013, unemployment in the greater Washington, D.C. MSA remains well below that of the nation, and the latest figures as of April of 2014 follow a trend of job growth. The following article examines how government, tourism, conventions, and other core strengths of Washington, D.C.’s economy are impacting the area’s hotel industry.
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