MONEY Magazine this week named Alexandria as the top, No. 1, destination for travel in the United States for 2018.
The criteria was the destinations that “deliver the highest value for your dollar,” the magazine said in its introduction. “To identify these 20 places we rely on the numbers: more than 32,000 data points in total from dozens of sources, covering cost, year-over-year trends, and customer satisfaction.”
Alexandria offers less expensive hotel alternatives than D.C. proper, and historic charm, the report says, recommending shopping along the mile of King Street that leads to the waterfront, and visiting the Torpedo factory among other things.
So perhaps it was less surprising, that during a surprisingly short March 6 City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Jinks pulled a work session on Alexandria tourism out of obscurity and into the main Council discussion of the evening. Patricia Washington and staff from Visit Alexandria updated the City Council on plans for Alexandria tourism in 2018.
Last year, Visit Alexandria showcased a 360 degree virtual tour of Alexandria at an exposition in the Patent and Trademark Office. The program is currently operational at the Visit Alexandria website and several City Council members noted that the 360 degree camera offers a flattering view of Alexandria’s cobblestones.
Washington also noted that Visit Alexandria will be bringing in more specialty bus tours in 2018. Of special note was a “Hamilton themed” tour in the works to coincide with the hit Broadway musical coming to the Kennedy Center.
“Things like the holiday lights have a huge impact,” said Councilwoman Redella “Del” Pepper. “How many jurisdictions do you know have a mile of lights in one place. It looks like you could name six, but don’t. I like to think we’re very special and one of a kind. That sort of thing is very important.”