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Tourism bureau: Washington, D.C. had record visitation in 2013

By Brett Zongker

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, May 6 2014 1:16 p.m. MDT

Throngs of people stroll the Tidal Basin in Washington, Friday, April 11, 2014, to enjoy the blossoming cherry trees.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Tourism officials say 2013 was another record-breaking year for attractions in the nation's capital with an increase in domestic visitors and spending.

Statistics released Tuesday by the tourism bureau Destination D.C. show Washington had more than 17.4 million U.S. visitors in 2013. That's up 3.1 percent from the 16.8 million domestic visitors in 2012.

Visitors spent $6.7 billion last year in Washington, an increase of nearly 8 percent over 2012. Spending was up on retail goods, food, beverages and entertainment.

Mayor Vincent Gray says the city's tourism sector supported nearly 76,000 jobs last year. Officials say the hospitality industry is the second largest employer after the federal government.

Officials say this year will bring 17 citywide conventions and high-profile events to Washington, including the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

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