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Being A Tourist Is Just A Click Away

August 15, 2002

Alexandria is a blast. "Eblast" that is.

Have friends coming to town and looking for ways to entertain them? Want to know what's going on? Making plans for the holidays?

Information about all this and more can be found on the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association's latest entrant in their quest to assure that Alexandria is "the fun side of the Potomac." Eblast is ACVA's quarterly electronic newsletter listing city seasonal events and specials.

"We want the citizens of Alexandria to know that our web page is a valuable resource that they can use for leisure activity information as much as those from other areas of the country," said ACVA Marketing Director Kathleen Cummings.

ACVA's first Eblast went out in May and the next is due in September. "Local residents need to sign up by the first week in September to be assured of receiving the next Eblast," Cummings said.

"Information is updated weekly, if not daily. We hope it will become a favorite web site on computers throughout Alexandria and the entire Greater Washington Area," Cummings said.

EBLAST WILL NOT only carry events and specials information but also tourist attraction details, special hotel rates, restaurant guides, and a contest to win a Alexandria Get-Away Weekend, she explained. Signing up can be done by clicking on "Email Update" at ACVA web site www.FunSide.com.

In addition to specifics is a brief movie entitled "Sneak Peek." It highlights various landmarks and visitor attractions. "One of the most popular ways for people to get tourist information is from friends and family. That's why we want local people to become aware of this new service," Cummings noted.

"The latest studies show that 53 percent of leisure travelers are using the Internet for travel information," said Laura N. Overstreet, ACVA Deputy Director. "We are averaging approximately 52,000 hits per month on our web page."

Overstreet explained, "We do our heaviest marketing within a five hour drive of Alexandria. Our next highest markets are Texas and California."

In addition to its web site, ACVA produces 400,000 copies of its annual visitors guide, which are mailed throughout the world. They are also available at the Ramsey House Visitors Center, 221 King St., as well as at hotels, shops, restaurants and various site throughout the city, according to Overstreet and Cummings.

"Alexandria is a destination to be enjoyed by everyone. We want our residents to benefit from the same information we share with the rest of the world," Cummings exclaimed. "We are all tourists, even in our own hometown."