WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — D.C. officials are gearing up to spend $14 million to try and lure more international and national tourists to visit the District, even as the city grapples with a serious spike in violent crime.

Destination DC, the tourist arm in the District, touted the initiative this week, which will officially kick off Nov. 1. It will include major promotions and a social media presence to not only get people to the traditional monuments and memorials but also into D.C. neighborhoods.

Elliott Ferguson, the president and CEO of Destination DC, said that there’s a strategy that includes attracting more foreign visitors because they tend to stay longer than those visiting from across the country and spend thousands more.

“Well, the key thing about Washington as a destination is that we’re known as a federal city,” Ferguson said. “So they know for the most part that Washington is the nation’s capital and they want to come here. The key thing for us is to give them more of an idea as to how diverse D.C. is as a destination.

That includes getting visitors into more neighborhoods, he said, like historic Anacostia, the revamped Navy Yard and the well-known Georgetown areas.

“The goal for us is we’re taking people into our neighborhoods. Historic Anacostia, be it the Frederick Douglas house or getting a cup of coffee or eating,” he said. “Ten years ago [those sites] may not have necessarily resonated in the same vein.

But, the 39% hike in violent crime, according to D.C. police, as well as spikes in murders and carjackings, have given many around the world pause about visiting the nation’s capital, Ferguson admitted.

Some foreign consulates from places like Mexico have also issued crime warnings for its citizens to stay safe, Ferguson said, but crime is a problem in many places.

“Perception of a destination is a big deal,” he said. “Honestly, there’s nothing that I can say to someone who has a concern about coming to a destination in terms of you [being] safe. But most of the situations associated with crime are not tied to areas where visitors are.”

Anthony Selby of Northwest D.C. said he heard about the District trying to market itself to better attract visitors. Crime would be a concern to people coming here, he said.

“I wouldn’t say not to come to D.C. I actually love this city,” Selby said. “There’s crime everywhere. So that will be something that they will take into account when they generally visit any city these days or anywhere.”

Desmond Sims is new to D.C., a city he visited years ago and always wanted to move back to, he said. He is comfortable telling visitors to come here.

“I love the restaurants, I love the city, I love the nightlife,” Sims said. “I still think the city is worth visiting even though there might be some random crime in certain areas.”

Timothy McIntosh, Jr., who works at a barber shop in Navy Yard, said foreign and national visitors need to have “an awareness” about crime when they come to D.C., but shouldn’t let it serve as a deterrent.

“Anywhere you travel, crime is definitely a major concern and safety,” McIntosh said. “But also kind of highlight what the city is doing to make it comfortable and safe for families to come.”