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City Celebrates Tourism Week

Alexandria pays tribute to traveling Americans and the resiliency of its own tourism industry on May 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., at Market Square. National Tourism Week is being celebrated May 4 - 11.

A representative of Alexandria City Council will proclaim the city's recognition of National Tourism Week at noon. Entertainment includes music by WASH-FM from 11 a.m. to noon and jazz music by U.S. Army Band Combo, one of nine ensembles that comprise the internationally award-winning "Pershing's Own" Band, from noon until 1 p.m.

The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, which is sponsoring the event, will present a commemorative souvenir to everyone attending the celebration.

On Saturday, May 11, author Steve Zikman will autograph copies of his new book, Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King Street, in Old Town. Zikman is on a 23-state, 47-city cross-country tour that will be launched by the Travel Industry Association of America in New York City on May 4. He will be in the Washington, D.C., area May 11 - 14.

TOURISM IS ONE of the leading revenue generators for the city. In Fiscal Year 2001, tourists spent nearly $500 million in Alexandria, which generated $10.6 million in direct taxes to the city. Immediately following Sept. 11, Alexandria's tourism industry fell by approximately 40 percent, and hundreds of tourism employees lost their jobs.

With successful marketing by the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, in partnership with the City of Alexandria, and with regional tourism organizations, the traveling public is returning to the city and to the Greater Washington region.

Alexandria's tourism industry reports that hotel occupancy is reaching FY 2000 numbers, which, while not matching record FY 2001 figures, indicate that recovery is underway.

For more information on Alexandria's tourism industry, contact the ACVA at 703-838-4200, ext. 206.