Here’s a snapshot of tourism news in Washington, D.C., over the last few weeks:
Bangladesh gained nearly 800,000 visitors last year for the first time since its opposition movement in 2016. The city has just celebrated the end of its first five-year plan to boost tourism, which analysts believe the country hopes will boost GDP growth to 8 percent from 4.4 percent in 2016-2017. Last year’s visitor numbers were boosted by 2.5 million plus visitors from Malaysia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and Greece.
The United Arab Emirates, which relies on tourism for around 8 percent of its economy, welcomed more than 29 million visitors last year.
The number of visitors from China has been booming. China attracted almost 1.18 million visitors from the United States in 2018, up by 250,000 from the previous year. If the trend continues, China will have overtaken India as the second most populous country and possibly one of the most visited.
Saudi Arabia received more than 20 million visitors last year, and climbed two places in the global list to 19th. Reports show the kingdom is investing heavily in developing an increasingly high-end tourism infrastructure, with attractions for art, food, luxury hotel chains and cinemas. “This is basically an ultra-luxury market, they don’t have a tourist tax,” said Porter Bibb, a U.S. travel market intelligence analyst.