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Demand for hotel rooms at Obama inauguration down 16%

January 20, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • Workers prepare the Capitol for the second inauguration of President Obama.
Workers prepare the Capitol for the second inauguration of President Obama. (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

If you are heading to Washington this weekend for President Obama’s inauguration, you may find that your hotel is not as crowded as it was in 2009, when he was sworn into office for his first term.

The number of rooms booked in the District of Columbia area between Saturday and Monday is down 16% compared to four years ago, according to TravelClick, a New York company that provides e-commerce products and services to the hotel industry.

As a result of the drop in demand, hotel rates are down 11% compared to the last inauguration, the company said.

But the drop in numbers should be no surprise. Obama’s first swearing-in boasted the largest attendance of any presidential inauguration in history, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. About 1.8 million people attended the ceremony in 2009.

Tourism officials in Washington estimate that the second inauguration ceremony should draw between 600,000 and 800,000 people.

“Second-term inaugurations tend to be smaller than the first,” said Robin McClain, a spokeswoman for Destination DC, the tourism bureau for the city. “The feeling in the industry is that there is certainly slower demand.”

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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