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Visit Alexandria Focusing on Micro Weddings, Online Offerings as Economic Comeback Could Take Years

It might take years for Alexandria’s economy to recover from the impact of the pandemic, but there are plenty of developments down the road.

Micro weddings, new businesses and tourism expectations this year were just a few of the topics covered by Visit Alexandria in its annual membership meeting last week. While offset by positive news of business developments along the waterfront, the meeting was full of sobering statistics on drastically reduced revenues in nearly all sectors of the local economy.

“This turn of a new year, and especially the launch of the vaccine process provides new reasons to be hopeful,” said Visit Alexandria CEO Patricia Washington.They (vaccines) recharge our batteries for the important work ahead.”

Alexandria is a popular spot for weddings, but the pandemic has forced Visit Alexandria to embrace the micro wedding trend.

“While some couples have decided to postpone our wedding, others are embracing the opportunity to have an intimate ultra romantic day,” said Claire Mouledoux, Visit Alexandria’s vice president of communications. “Alexandria is full of fantastic spots which we are promoting… like secret gardens, like the ones you see here at Carlyle House and Rectory on Princess Street… and the steps of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.”

Vito Fiore, Visit Alexandria’s vice president of marketing and research, said that Alexandria’s hotels took a 72% loss in revenue per available room for the last six months of 2020. He said that while only 5% of the U.S. population plan to travel this month, 60% have a high degree of excitement about traveling later in the year, according to a study by Destination Analysts.

“The Deloitte Industry Outlook said that six-to-10 retail executives expect recovery in the next one to two years, but a quarter see a longer timeline of two to five years,” Fiore said.

While the recovery from the pandemic might take years, Mouledoux said that there are more than 30 restaurants that recently opened and are in development this year, including Ada’s On The River, Vía Volcán Coffee and Emmy Squared Pizza.

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