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Alexandria Tourism On the Rise

Alexandria's tourism statistics are again on the rise. The city's economic indicators for tourism are showing solid growth over last year, according to Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

ACVA reported the first eight months of Fiscal Year 2004, total direct taxes collected from overnight visitors amounted to $6.8 million, up from $6.2 million for the same period in 2003. According to ACVA, this was accumulated by:

*Alexandria hotels collected $3.1 million in lodging taxes. Up 11 percent over last year.

*$526,639 from the hotels' $1/room night self levied charge. A 10 percent increase over the first eight months of FY 2003.

*Other collected taxes include $2.5 million in meals taxes; $468,255 from auto transportation; and $285,024 in retail tax.

"Hotel occupancy figures, averaging 63 percent for the first eight months of FY 2004, are three percent above last year's figures," said Laura Overstreet, vice president, ACVA Communications.

"The city's corporate meetings structure is strong, with the number of meetings booked for Alexandria hotels up by 10 percent over FY 2003."

Alexandria's hotel statistics are keeping pace with the region and running ahead of the nation in both occupancy and revenue generated per room, according to ACVA.

"This strong increase reflects consumer confidence in the nation's economy and a public that is comfortable with traveling once again," said Jo Anne Mitchell, ACVA president and CEO.

"ACVA salutes the more than 7,000 employees of Alexandria's tourism industry during this National Tourism Week, May 8 to 16. Their professionalism and personal service greatly influence the return of both leisure and business travelers," Mitchell said.

ACVA PREDICTS A strong summer tourism season. "The region anticipates welcoming an additional one million visitors to the Washington region from Memorial Day to Labor Day," Mitchell said. The World War II Memorial will be officially dedicated over Memorial Day weekend.