Fairfax County, VA - May 12, 2011 - Since 1984, the travel industry has designated the first full week in May as National Travel & Tourism Week - a week dedicated to spreading the word on the power of travel and the benefits of tourism. Visit Fairfax (www.fxva.com) salutes the thousands of individuals in Fairfax County that work in our industry - from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and taxi workers - who raise the quality of life in our area for visitors and residents alike.

"Without the tourism industry, the average American family would pay $1,000 more in taxes each year," explains Barry Biggar, President & CEO of Visit Fairfax. "I'm incredibly proud to say that in Fairfax County alone, the tourism industry supports almost 30,000 local jobs and visitors contribute more than $2.4 billion to the local economy each year."

The travel and tourism industry represents one of America's largest employers supporting 14.1 million jobs (including 7.4 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in other industries), and accounted for more than $1.8 trillion in economic output for the US economy just last year alone. In Virginia, tourism supports more than 204,500 jobs and $4.3 billion in payroll and salaries. In fact, direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2 billion a day, according to US Travel Association data.

In celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week, hotels, restaurants, attractions and visitor centers throughout Fairfax County are passing out information cards that highlight some of these impressive statistics and invite visitors to download the free Visit Fairfax smartphone app.

Visit Fairfax is the official tourism organization for Fairfax County, Virginia. Charged with destination marketing and tourism promotion, it is directed by many of the County's top tourism and hospitality leaders. For more information, please visit www.fxva.com.

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Sarah Maciejewski                                                             Melissa Gold

Dir of Communications, Visit Fairfax                                  White+Partners PR for Visit Fairfax

sarahm@fxva.com                                                             melissag@whiteandpartnerspr.com

Ph: 703-752-9502                                                              Ph: 703-599-1643