Alexandria’s Record Revenue Growth and Positioning for a Larger Economic Footprint

October 3 Visit Alexandria Annual Meeting / Photo courtesy of Grace Billups Arnold, Zebra Editor

ALEXANDRIA, VA — As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on the many opportunities around us and pause to reflect on the region of our nation in which we live. Growth, beauty and community involvement are everywhere in and around Alexandria. This was evident recently on October 3 at Visit AlexandriaAnnual meeting of.

Alexandria’s economic recovery, increased income and a new marketing campaign were the main highlights of the meeting. Tourism The organization reported on the city’s record consumption tax revenue and the influence of marketing expansion on Alexandria’s economic recovery. Visit Alexandria also unveiled a new marketing campaign aimed at increasing the benefit of visitor spending in neighborhoods across the city.

Mayor of Alexandria, Justin Wilson

“I am grateful for the leadership of our tourism and hospitality sector and the partnership with Visit Alexandria as together we work to continue our city’s economic recovery,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. “There’s still work to do, and we know other destinations are upping their game, so we can’t give up.”

Economic recovery

Consumption tax revenue, approximately 71% of which comes from non-residents, based on analysis of credit card data, supports basic city services and minimizes the tax rate for residents. residents of Alexandria. In fiscal 2022, revenue rebounded from $59 million to a record $76 million, setting a new record for commodity tax revenue. In short, visitors saved the average Alexandrian household over $750 a year in taxes.

Lodging tax revenue collected in Alexandria in fiscal year 2022 more than doubled from the prior year, but is still below pre-pandemic levels. Virginia Tourism Corporation reports that visitors over 50 miles generated $612 million in direct spend in calendar year 2021, a 38% increase over the previous year.

Moreover, with the additional support of the Funding for the American rescue plan for the city of Alexandria, Visit Alexandria was able to increase its marketing budget this year, capitalizing on pent-up travel demand. The increased investment seems to have paid off.

Photo: Flyover solutions for Visit Alexandria

A more vibrant Alexandria and surrounding communities

Visit Alexandria also attributed the successes of fiscal year 2022 to Alexandria’s community evolution, embodied in partnerships and innovations that make the city more vigorous, welcoming and cohesive. Among these are the evolution of the waterfrontthe new pedestrian zone on King Street, the openings and expansions of independent businesses, the strength and evolution of neighborhoods, new civic leadership, the inauguration of Virginia Tech Innovation Campusand the national honors Alexandria wins accordingly. The zebra pointed to the achievement of the city here in a recent article.

It’s Taste of Del Ray time!
Fall at Carlyle. Photo: Carol Jean Stalun Photography for Visit Alexandria

New campaign “Grow your ALX”

Expand your ALX is an exciting invitation not only to explore our physical neighborhoods, but also to expand your understanding and experience of our city’s diverse cultures, people and history,” said Patricia WashingtonPresident and CEO of Visit Alexandria. “With this new campaign, we are excited to increase the impact of visitor spending in Alexandria.”

Patricia Washington, President and CEO of Visit Alexandria/photo courtesy of Grace Billups Arnold, Zebra Editor-in-Chief
Grow your ALX – slide presented by Visit Alexandria Annual Meeting / photo courtesy of Grace Billups Arnold, Zebra Editor

Visit Alexandria also unveiled a new ad campaign highlighting neighborhoods across the city as part of a strategy to expand the relaunch across the city. Expand your ALX invites DC area residents who love the Old Town to expand their perception and experience of Alexandria. Featured neighborhoods include Alexandria west end, Del Ray, Arlandria and carlyle. The campaign includes website content at ExpandYourALX.com with more content rolling out in 2023. The campaign, launching in early October, will include online video, social media, print and digital ads.

FY2022 KPIs and programs

Visit AlexandriaKPIs include all-time record web traffic, digital marketing impressions, media coverage, leads, social media followers and membership.

  • 2.9 million web visits (+30% over one year)
  • 158 million digital marketing impressions (+26% YoY)
  • 1,265 press clicks (+21% YoY)
  • $46.4 million in group leads (+146% YoY)
  • 180,000 social media followers (+9% YoY)
  • 426 members (+5% over one year)

Fiscal Year 2022 Program Highlights

  • Leveraging Alexandria’s 2021 ranking in the Top 3 Best Small Towns in the United States by the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, the fourth time Alexandria has made the top 5 small towns and has been on the list since the category’s inception in 2018.
  • Launched a new website with a mobile-first design, inspiring visual and video capabilities, and various content layouts.
  • Increased marketing spend by 39% to support website redesign as well as new advertising tactics such as audio streaming and Expedia, as well as an increased presence on YouTube and native advertising.
  • Launched the “Drop In” campaign to tap into the $109 billion black travel market, which builds on our collaboration with members, the Office of Historic Alexandria and other industry partners over many years to paint a more complete and inclusive picture of Alexandria.
  • Launch of a dedicated campaign in Spanish in regional print, radio and social media targeting the DC region.
  • The return and rise of the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon and Portside as part of the Old Town Summer Festival, both of which saw record attendance.
Scottish Walk Christmas Parade, Visit Alexandria Annual Meeting presentation slide

Look forward

Visit Alexandria concluded the annual meeting by presenting more priority projects for fiscal year 2023, in addition to the Expand your ALX DC Regional Campaign. The organization is developing a new destination advertising campaign for overnight travelers and increase awareness-driven paid media placements. Visit Alexandria expand the footprint of its organization-run flagship events by partnering with the Campagna Center and the City of Alexandria on the Scottish Christmas Parade in Alexandria. A new Alexandria Restaurant Week pricing structure was launched during the summer in August 2022 and will continue for the winter promotion in January 2023. The Visit Alexandria business team will launch a new meetings campaign highlighting the city’s appeal as a small meetings destination and building on its targeted approach to lead generation that delivered record results in FY2022. Membership team will bring website partnership sales in-house and the Alexandria Visitor Center at Ramsay House will be renovated.

About Visit Alexandria and Alexandria, VA

Visit Alexandria is the nonprofit tourism marketing organization of Alexandria, Virginia. voted one Travel + Leisure Best City in USA 2022 and one southern life Best city on the rise 2022, Alexandria buzzes with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and walkable lifestyle – a welcoming weekend getaway next to our nation’s capital. Founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is the third-oldest locally designated historic district in the country, with more than 200 independent restaurants and shops, as well as intimate historic museums and new waterfront events. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile hailed as one of America’s “great streets.” Walk in the footsteps of George Washington and America’s Founding Fathers while learning about black history and the African American changemakers who shaped the history of Alexandria and the United States



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Sallie R. Loera