WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Washington, DC's official tourism agency is doing its part to spark new romances and rekindle relationships in the nation's capital by creating a new month-long promotion, "Date Nights DC: A 28-Day Stimulus Plan for Love & Relationships."
Crediting the Obamas with bringing new attention to DC's restaurant and culture scene with their frequent "Date Nights," DC tourism officials launched the February promotion on January 14 by giving it a distinctly Washington feel: the initiative will be carried out by a new "government" agency, the Department of Love and Relationships, led by "Secretary" and noted sex and relationships expert, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The "agency" will be voluntarily staffed by professional concierges and tourism professionals who regularly help locals and visitors create special and memorable experiences.
"People associate DC with politics and power, but we know that it is also a very inspiring place for romance and personal connections. We often hear stories about people who met, fell in love and got married here," said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO, Destination DC. "By establishing the Department of Love and Relationships and making this 'Date Night' stimulus plan its top priority, we are following the Obamas' lead in recognizing the importance of personal relationships. At the same time, we are stimulating travel to the District."
Dr. Ruth formally accepted her post as Secretary with an official appointment from DC Councilmember-At-Large Kwame R. Brown.
"Throughout my career, I have reminded people of all ages, around the world, without undue shyness, to live in the moment and experience joy. Now it's my pleasure to invite people to experience it with each other, with their loved ones, and even by themselves right here in this powerful, romantic city," said Dr. Ruth.
With value-added packages, discounts and fresh, original date ideas offered throughout February, the "Stimulus Plan" is designed to boost business by encouraging locals, regional residents and other travelers to take advantage of Date Night deals at DC hotels, restaurants and attractions. Featured offers and events take place throughout the month, incorporating Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day weekend. While many of the promotions are targeted to couples, Date Night is also designed to appeal to families and people seeking "just-the-girls" and "bro-mance" outings, as well as LGBT couples as the legalization of same-sex marriage advances in the District.
To complement the promotion and to further outline the mission of the Department of Love and Relationships, Destination DC created a custom website, DateNightsDC.org. Featured components of the site include:
- Create-a-Date: A searchable database of more than 80 creative date ideas to help locals and visitors plan outings with their girlfriends, boyfriends, families, just the girls and just the guys. Organized by theme and neighborhoods, date planners will find LGBT-centered dates, movie-themed dates and itineraries for politics buffs, movie fans, food and wine lovers and more.
- Date Concierge: An option to call or email the "Date Concierge" who will book each element of your desired date, from hotel room to dinner reservations to car service at no additional cost, through a partnership with the Washington Area Concierge Association. The Date Concierge can be reached by calling 1-877-DATE-879 or by emailing email@example.com. The concierge desk will be staffed from 10 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday; emails will be monitored on an ongoing basis, beginning Thursday, January 14.
- Postings & Rankings: A place where couples who met, courted and married in DC to share videos chronicling their relationships. The site also includes a listing of 28 top romantic spots, one for each day of the 28-day promotion.
- Date Night Deals: More than 50 special events and offers from hotels, restaurants, tours and attractions for "date-friendly" experiences. Zola and the International Spy Museum have teamed up to offer a "Love a Spy" package including admission to the museum and its Operation SPY interactive adventure, plus a dinner for two featuring champagne and oysters. At the luxe Fairmont Washington, D.C. Hotel, for example, a "Make Your Honey Happy" Date Night package comes with honey cocktails and amenities sourced from the hotel's own bee hives. Date Night participants can also take advantage of a 28-day "stimulating" couples discount at Madame Tussauds and fall in love with their favorite celebrity or political heavy hitter, a "Will You Be My Co-Anchor?" promotion at the Newseum and special events and offers at other venues and attractions.
- The Hook-up: A platform for information about events, promotions and happenings.
The promotion will run throughout February 2010 and will be supported by a $200,000 marketing investment, including online placements in NBCwashington.com, Washingtonian.com, washingtonpost.com, and also on NBC 4 and WTOP, as well as through public relations efforts. Destination DC will also be tweeting about Date Night events and promotions throughout the event, using the hashtag #datenightsdc. The custom website, DateNightsDC.org, launched today.
The promotion is also being supported through partnerships with American Airlines and Megabus, which will work with Destination DC to give away tickets to visit DC through Facebook and Twitter, and Red Door Spas.
Destination DC organizers hope that the promotional will become an annual tradition.
"We know that regional residents are planning their own date nights in DC all year round," added Ferguson. "We hope this will become a promotion that they look forward to each year, just as they do with Restaurant Week."
SOURCE Destination DC