Your View: The waterfronts captivating history is tourism gold

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To the editor: 

Captain John Smith explored the Alexandria waterfront and noted an Indian fishing village in 1608. George Washington shipped his tobacco, wheat, and salted fish to England, the West Indies and Portugal from this port. In the 1770s, Alexandria rivaled Boston and New York as one of the colonies most vibrant ports because Virginia produced what England craved: tobacco, intoxicating and addictive, was black gold.

So why commercially overdevelop the Alexandria waterfront when developing the history and arts appeal of the waterfront would attract more visitors spending a greater amount of money? 

Travelers interested in culture and history took an average of five trips in the past year, compared with slightly less than four trips for non-cultural travelers, according to a 2009 study by Cultural&Heritage Traveler. On average, these travelers spend more money on cultural and historic trips ($994) than the typical traveler ($611). Half of these expenditures are spent on activities, dining and shopping.

We have tourism gold. Lets show it off.

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