History has always been a big lure in Alexandria, but a new endeavor from the city’s tourism office aims to show the present is pretty darned extraordinary, too.
ACVA’s first rebranding in five years integrates Alexandria’s eateries, boutiques and arts and cultural sites to broaden the perception of the city beyond tricorn hats and cobblestones—though those still play an integral part in selling the city to tourists.
ACVA CEO Patricia Washington said the goal was to “truly capture the essence of who we are today."
During remarks at the unveiling, Washington and Mayor Bill Euille both touched on changes to the city in the last five years, including new boutique hotels and the King Street Trolley in Old Town, efforts to redevelop the waterfront and the emergence of Del Ray as a destination neighborhood.
“Tourism growth is good for every citizen in the community,” Euille said. “Every dollar we put into to tourism advertising we get back four-fold. Last year, we received almost $24 million in tax collection from visitors.”
Tourism revenues in the city have grown 26 percent since 2007, according to ACVA. In 2012, visitor spending in Alexandria increased 4 percent to $739 million.
For the first time, more than half of ACVA’s ad budget will be geared toward digital buys aimed to grab visitors within a 5-hour drive of Alexandria.
The campaign features some truly remarkable ads and video shorts featuring the likes of local restaurateur Cathal Armstrong, PX’s Todd Thrasher, Town Crier Benjamin Fiore-Walker and Tameka Young, wife of City Manager Rashad Young who happens to be a part-time fashion model. (You can watch the 2½-minute brand video above).
ACVA is inviting residents and fans of the city to share what they find extraordinary about Alexandria on social media by using the hashtag #ExtraordinaryALX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each week, one story will be selected and featured on the Visit Alexandria Facebook page.
What do you think of the “Extraordinary Alexandria” campaign? Tell us in the comment section below.