Holiday Tourism Marketing Forum December 6, 2013

Claire Mouledoux, 703-652-5367

Holiday Tourism Marketing Forum

ACVA Presents ExtraordinaryALX Awards and
Tourism Partner of the Year

ALEXANDRIA, VA - On Friday, December 6, 2013, the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association (ACVA) hosted members of the tourism community, small business owners and city officials at the annual Holiday Tourism Marketing Forum at George Washington's Mount Vernon for a special presentation of awards.

For the first time, ACVA presented the "ExtraordinaryALX Awards" to members of the community whose excellence in service has contributed to Alexandria's growth. Awards were given to Jody Manor, owner of the new Waterfront Market; Kimpton's Morrison House, for being named to the "Top 10 World's Best Service" list by Travel + Leisure magazine; Amy Rutherford, owner of Red Barn Mercantile, for her exceptional media savvy; Pat Miller, founder of Art on the Avenue and a top civic and business leader in Del Ray; the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of "River Poem," a tribute to Alexandria's waterfront heritage; and Benjamin Fiore-Walker, Alexandria's Town Crier.

Former City Councilman David Speck and ACVA President and CEO Patricia Washington presented the Tourism Partner of the Year award to the City of Alexandria for its consistent support of Alexandria tourism, leadership in projects like the waterfront plan and its success alongside the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership in recruiting the National Science Foundation to move to Alexandria. In his acceptance speech, the Mayor cited tourism as an integral aspect of Alexandria's economy, generating $739 million in visitor spending, $23.7 million in city tax revenue as well as 6,000 jobs, with every dollar invested in tourism coming back four-fold in tax collection.

Ms. Washington gave an update on the success of the new Extraordinary Alexandria brand and marketing campaign launched in late September. saw a 61% increase in organic web traffic year over year in October, and a 52% jump in November. The regional campaign experienced a 57% increase in click-through rate, coinciding with the new creative. There has been a 37% increase in number of fans on Facebook for VisitAlexandriaVA.

The Holiday Tourism Marketing Forum began with a reception featuring chocolate-making demonstrations and entertainment by the caroling ensemble of the Alexandria Singers. In addition to the award ceremony, Rebecca Aloisi, Vice President for Marketing for George Washington's Mount Vernon, praised ACVA and Mount Vernon's strong partnership, which has recently spurred the Mount Vernon Holiday Trolley, a transportation service from Old Town to Mount Vernon. Following the award ceremony, attendees were invited to tour George Washington's former estate, bedecked for the holidays.

About the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association
The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association (ACVA) is a private nonprofit 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.