Fairfax, Arlington collect most tourist money

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Local,Virginia,Taylor Holland

Tourists combined to spend nearly $6 billion in Arlington and Fairfax counties in 2010, a figure that accounts for more than a quarter of the statewide total, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Arlington County, home of Arlington Cemetery and the Sept. 11 memorial, led all counties in the state, collecting nearly $2.49 billion of tourist spending, followed by Fairfax County, which collected nearly $2.46 billion. Fairfax says its tourism spending comes from Mount Vernon, Wolf Trap, Tysons Corner shopping and two wineries.

Closing out the top five were: Loudoun County, earning $1.4 billion, Virginia Beach City, earning $1.1 billion and Alexandria, which collected $657.4 million.

Statewide, Virginia generated $18.9 billion in tourist revenue in 2010, a 6.7 percent increase from 2009's total.

"The increase in revenue from tourism is very encouraging," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "Given current economic conditions across the country, a 6.7 percent increase is impressive."

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

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