The Obama administration has inspired Destination DC and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to offer discounts to groups booking citywide conventions in the nation’s capital.

“We’ve seen more interest in Washington, D.C., since the new administration arrived,” said Elliott Ferguson, senior vice president, convention sales and services at Destination DC, in a news release. “With this incentive package, we’re giving our customers a way to bring some of that excitement to their delegates while taking advantage of a great deal.”

Since President Obama is the 44th president of the United States, the deal centers on the number 44. Planners who book a meeting with 1,000 or more room nights between now and March 2010 get the following incentives: 44 percent off convention center rental fees, a 44-minute reception with 44-cent beer and wine, 44 meal options priced at $44 each, 44 free tabletop exhibits, a free drawing at 4:44 p.m. each day of the conference, and a $44 rental fee when you book multiple qualifying meetings within 18 months.

In addition, 36 area hotels are offering incentives to those who qualify. They include waived attrition fees, free Internet within the block, one comp room per 35 booked, 15 percent off audiovisual services, 10 percent off the group’s food and beverage bill, and 10 percent off attendees-related personal expenses (such as in-room dining, restaurant dining, spa services, business center, etc.).

“Travel and tourism are immensely important especially during a struggling economy,” said Gregory O’Dell, CEO and general manager at the Washington Convention Center Authority, in a press release. “We have a strong commitment to working with our partners at Destination DC and the city’s hotel community to create attractive short-term incentives to increase booking meetings in the nation’s capital.”

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