To the Editor:
As we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week, it’s a great time to recognize the incredible contributions visitors make to Alexandria each year. In 2012, visitor spending accounted for:
- $739 million in visitor spending
- 6,000 jobs
- $23 million in city tax revenues (that reduced the average tax burden for Alexandrians by $365 per household).
Tourism also directly benefits our city’s strong business community and fosters a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. Our unique collection of independent businesses, both retail and restaurants, provide assets found in few destinations today that make our city extraordinary.
Tourism is a point of pride. As ambassadors, we are proud to showcase our city to visiting friends and relatives, and to business colleagues who marvel at our history, architecture, waterfront, open spaces and quality of life.
As we look forward to the transformation of our historic waterfront we can anticipate with pride and excitement what’s to come — waterfront parks with arts and activities that will enhance the quality of life for all Alexandrians and attract people to the Potomac all year round.
To paraphrase Laurie Olin, founder of Olin Studio and the architect charged with designing our new waterfront, “Parisians didn’t build Paris for the tourists — they built a beautiful city for themselves and in return, everyone wanted to visit.” Alexandria is on its way to a similar state, with the economic benefit that will be a foundation of our city’s future.
Patricia Washington, President & CEO
Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association