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Visit Alexandria Announces All-Time High Visitor Spending Exceeding $825 Million

Alexandria, VA—Visit Alexandria announced record revenue at its Annual Meeting on September 24, 2018. Visitor spending increased $36 million dollars (+4.6%) to a record $826 million, according to data just released by Virginia Tourism Corporation. This continues the positive growth trend over the past five years for Alexandria’s visitor economy, which now generates $88 million more than it did in 2013. Other data released at the meeting shows that tax revenue generated by non-residents saved the average Alexandria household $616 per year.

“This is a pivotal year for Alexandria as we face unprecedented competition,” said Patricia Washington, president and CEO of Visit Alexandria. “This challenge unites us and energizes us to work smarter, relying on big data to drive our marketing decisions, and to continue to improve the quality of experiences and programs our City has to offer.”

One of Visit Alexandria’s key projects for fiscal year 2019 will be the King Street Corridor Initiative, focusing on programming, beautification and marketing, spearheaded by the City of Alexandria and Visit Alexandria. Programming is central to the strategy this year. In celebration of Alexandria’s new waterfront experience, Visit Alexandria will launch Portside in Old Town, free-to-the-public themed weekend happenings in history, art, music and fitness with activities for families and for adults, plus additional pop-up experiences and events.

Visit Alexandria will also launch ALXNetWorks, an initiative to connect meeting planners with each other and to position Visit Alexandria as a respected authority, convener and thought leader in the meetings industry. The meetings team will also debut a new ad campaign, “Close to DC, Far from Expected.” Visit Alexandria is also working with the City to mitigate impact on visitors during the summer 2019 Metrorail shutdown.

Visit Alexandria had a banner year, noting record tourism revenues, local tax receipts, hotel occupancy, media coverage and web traffic for Alexandria. According to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2017 Economic Impact of Domestic Travel on Virginia and Localities report, spending from destination market visitors coming from more than 50 miles away was $826 million, producing $27.4 million in local tax revenues for Alexandria. Travel also supported 6,546 jobs in Alexandria, which represents 7% of the local workforce.

At its annual meeting, Visit Alexandria also reported the following fiscal year 2018 results:

  • 72.5% hotel occupancy (exceeding 70% for the fourth consecutive year)
  • Non-residents account for 71% of Alexandria’s sales, meals and lodging tax receipts
  • 1,167 total press stories (+14%)
  • 2.03 million website visits to (+5%)
  • 131,000 social media followers (+19%)
  • 365 members (+10%)
  • $45 million in meetings leads (+13%)

The King Street Corridor Initiative is funded in part through Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program grant.

About Visit Alexandria
Visit Alexandria is the nonprofit tourism marketing organization for Alexandria, Virginia. Named the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018 by Money magazine and one of the South’s Prettiest Cities 2018 by Southern Living, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital. A nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is home to more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. New restaurants tucked in to 18th– and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown ignite historic and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods as the waterfront district evolves with new energy.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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