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After a decade as Visit Alexandria president and CEO, Patricia Washington is retiring next summer

Visit Alexandria CEO Patricia Washington speaks (staff photo by James Cullum)

After a decade running Visit Alexandria, the organization’s president and CEO Patricia Washington announced today that she’s retiring in June.

Washington took over the tourism agency in 2012 and has overseen a growth in city tourism pre-pandemic and a difficult rebound after Covid. Visit Alexandria receives funding from both the city and state sources.

“It’s been such a privilege to lead Visit Alexandria’s vision, culture and content-first marketing strategy for more than 11 years, and this feels like the right time for my retirement both organizationally and personally,” said Washington. “Visit Alexandria is in excellent shape, with a high-performing staff, strong partnerships, clear plans, stable finances and growing tourism revenues.”

Under Washington, Visit Alexandria has pushed for diversifying the city’s tourism marketing, with a Drop In campaign aiming to draw in Black tourists and an Expand Your ALX campaign highlighting global cuisine in the city outside of Old Town.

Visit Alexandria has also frequently highlighted some of the city’s high rankings in various travel magazines.

A search for a new president and CEO is underway, with a formal job posting coming in early January.

The retirement comes amid a shakeup in city leadership over the next year, with Mayor Justin Wilson, Fire Chief Corey Smedley, City Attorney Joanna Anderson and several others retiring this year.

Washington said, after years of promoting tourism to Alexandria, she’s looking forward to doing some tourism herself.

“On a personal level, I’m hoping to do some more extensive travel and have more time to pursue interests at a point in life where I have the passion and energy to fully explore them,” Washington said.

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