- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2002

Tourism officials around the metropolitan area are joining forces to market the Washington region to travelers who have stayed away since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Greater Washington Tourism Alliance will work to strengthen and connect individual tourism marketing efforts within the region. Until now, many of the area's organizations were working on their own agendas and not collaborating on marketing efforts, even though their mission to get more people into the area is the same.
"We've made gigantic gains since 9/11, but we're not quite where we want to be," said Jo Anne Mitchell, chairman of the Greater Washington Tourism Alliance and president and chief executive of the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association. "We need to make a concerted effort."
The group is made up of destination-marketing organizations from the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland, as well as economic-development authorities and other tourism-related organizations, like the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service.
"This is good news for the region's economy," said Thomas Morr, managing partner of the Greater Washington Initiative, in a statement. "The joint efforts of Greater Washington's tourism marketers should increase visitation and visitor spending, which benefits every part of the capital region."
The Greater Washington Tourism Alliance does not currently have a budget. The initial goals of the group are to get individual marketing organizations on the same page. Opening communication between the groups will let marketers know what kinds of efforts are being done throughout the region and, if possible, collaborate.
"We have so much to sell as a region," Miss Mitchell said.


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