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Alexandria’s transient lodging industry slowly climbing out of the pits of 2020

Alexandria’s transient lodging, from Airbnb to hotels, famously took a hit back in 2020, but there’s some good news.

At a meeting of the City Council last night celebrating some of the work of Visit Alexandria, Mayor Justin Wilson noted that transient lodging has continued to climb and overall consumption tax revenue now exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

“Given where we were three years ago, that’s an amazing turnabout,” said Wilson.

A monthly financial report (item 14) showed that transient lodging taxes continued to climb dramatically from FY 2022 to FY 2023.

“We are now at 22.5% on transient lodging ahead of where we were last year,” Wilson said, “which is an incredible turnabout for the community and obviously I think speaks to the financial return the tourism industry provides to the taxpayers in the city, but I think it’s broader than that.”

Wilson said tourism is a part of Alexandria’s DNA in ways that are more than just financial

“Three years ago, as many of the businesses in this sector were shut down, so many of our residents realized what they were missing in the rich contributions the travel and tourism industry provides the people that live here,” Wilson said. “They’re a part of our community and a part of what makes this a wonderful place. We’re happy to have ya’ll back, not just for financial reasons.”

Vice Mayor Amy Jackson said Visit Alexandria has helped spotlight some of the best parts of Alexandria and has helped boost the recovery of transient lodging.

The pandemic shone a bright light on our strengths and weaknesses,” said Jackson. “We just kept going through this and we are the place to be. We are where you want to be, where you want to visit, to live, work play and raise a family.”