First in Nation: Alexandria Tourism Website Offers Online Restaurant Reservations May 1, 2009
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       First in Nation: Alexandria Tourism Website Offers Online Restaurant Reservations


Alexandria, VA (May 1, 2009) - VisitAlexandriaVA.com, the official tourism website for Alexandria, Virginia, launched an online restaurant reservation system using technology that is new in the United States. The website is the first in the country to offer the service alongside reservations for hotels, air and travel packages.

The new technology offers unique benefits to both restaurant operators and their guests. Site visitors can make real-time reservations at Alexandria restaurants without membership requirements or third-party marketing pitches resulting from use of the system. The system also features special offers and promotions. Restaurateurs can use the web-based, hardware-free solution to manage all their web and walk-in reservations and integrate reservations with their customer email marketing.

"This system makes it easy for anyone to get a reservation for the time and date they want," says Troy Clayton, chef-owner of Geranio Ristorante, one of the first restaurants to start using the system. "It's simple for the customer to use - no passwords to remember and no unwanted email - just up to the minute availability at a variety of Alexandria restaurants."

The service is a collaboration of the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association and Fishbowl, the trusted leader in permission-based online marketing for the restaurant industry, serving more than 30,000 restaurant locations in three countries. Fishbowl has teamed with Livebookings, a leader in European reservation solutions to introduce the revolutionary technology to the United States.

The online reservations system highlights the growth of Alexandria as a culinary destination. The newest top toque in town is Robert Wiedmaier at Brabo. He joins a dining scene with already high standards, courtesy of award-winning chefs such as Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve), Anthony Chittum (Vermilion) and Christophe and Michelle Poteaux (Bastille). These relatively recent arrivals came to a culinary community anchored by such savory stalwarts as Arlandria's famous RT's, a perennial in Washingtonian's 100 Best restaurants, Geranio's Ristorante and the romantic La Bergerie.

This year Alexandria has been recognized by the critics and the public for its dynamic restaurant roster. In January, Alexandria's first Restaurant Week showcased 30 restaurants offering prix fixe menus. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington named Alexandria restaurants and chefs nine times as finalists for the 2009 RAMMY Awards. Alexandria is second only to Washington, D.C., for total number of nominations in one city.

VisitAlexandriaVA.com was relaunched late last year in partnership with SimpleView, a web design company and provider of content management systems with an exclusive focus on destination marketing. The new site integrates all entertainment options together, including calendar of events, attraction information, hotels reservations, transportation and now restaurant reservations.


About the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association
The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association is a public-private membership organization whose mission is to generate tourism and conventions that increase revenues and promote the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and its assets. Tourism contributes both to the economic health of the City and quality of life for its residents. www.visitalexandriava.com/

About Fishbowl
Fishbowl is a leading provider of on-demand software and services for the restaurant industry. Fishbowl's easy-to-use, software-as-a-service solutions helps local and national organizations of all sizes manage and automate critical guest marketing services, including online email and promotions marketing, online reservation, and online ordering services. Fishbowl works with over 1,500 clients, 30,000 restaurants, and is the exclusive partner of the National Restaurant Association and more than 35 State Restaurant Associations. Fishbowl is based in Alexandria, Virginia, with offices in North America and Europe. www.Fishbowl.com

About Livebookings
Livebookings was formed based on the vision that all restaurants in the future will use information technology for improved administration, marketing and profitability. By providing revenue generating reservations and marketing solutions to restaurants, Livebookings is an integral part of the growing online marketing mix. Almost 17,000 restaurants are already benefiting from membership which allows them to receive real-time internet bookings from more than 500 independent booking partners, opening them up to a potential market in excess of 200 million diners. Livebookings is owned by Livebookings Holdings Ltd, an e-business specializing in transaction-based booking and information services. www.Livebookings.co.uk

About SimpleView
Since 1991, SimpleView has helped more than 125 DMOs make the most of technology, the web and interactive marketing. SimpleView draws on proven success to develop big-picture strategies for every aspect of sales and marketing. On a tactical level, SimpleView offers dynamic websites, a destination management system and expert interactive marketing services. http://www.simpleviewinc.com/

 

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