(CNN) - It may be freezing in Washington in January, but the city is a red-hot destination for people around the country and the world eager to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn into office.
he nation's capital is preparing for a massive influx of visitors on Inauguration Day - January 20, 2009 - and the surrounding period of festivities, galas and celebrations.
"We've had a tremendous amount of interest from travelers who want to be here for the big historic moment," said Rebecca Pawlowski, director of communications for Destination DC, Washington's official convention and tourism corporation.
"It's certainly safe to say [crowds will be bigger compared to] the last inauguration, just because whenever there's a change in administration and whenever there's a change of party, it always fuels a little more interest."
Some Americans began making their travel plans well before the election, excited by the possibility of seeing the first African-American become president of the United States.