Obama’s Inauguration spurs outlandish ticket prices, tourism boom


Tickets to Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony are in high demand, and Washington, D.C., is bracing for a boom in tourism coinciding with his first term.

The Chicago Tribune reports an “unprecedented” demand for tickets to Obama’s Inauguration Day events, which are organized by various committees. Tickets are free, but will not be doled out until January. In the meantime, officials are warning consumers to beware of ticket-selling scams, as only members of Congress are permitted to distribute tickets.

Kenneth Edmonds, a spokesman for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., said, “No one should be surprised. It’s a reflection of the extraordinary enthusiasm President Obama’s candidacy has unleashed.”

According to CNN, although free “if your congressman or senator grants your request,” the huge demand for entrance to the inauguration has sparked “a thriving online marketplace” for tickets. Brokers are already asking for up to $20,095.

Clearly, Obama’s arrival in Washington has prompted travelers to take notice. According to the Washington Business Journal, the hospitality sector in D.C. “always enjoys a nice economic jolt any time a new presidency is celebrated,” but Obama’s historic run has left “tourism officials anticipating record-level attendance and visitor spending that may extend well beyond Inauguration Day.”