D.C. Aims to Turn Sightseeing Tourists Into Shoppers

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BY MICHAEL PINA

WASHINGTON -- World-class shopping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when travelers think of this city, but the Washington Convention and Visitors Association wants to change that with a new international campaign aimed at Europeans who take short shopping trips.

Marie Tibor, a spokeswoman for the WCVA, said that the promotion will capitalize on the fact that New York hotels often are booked during the winter holiday season and foreign tour operators are looking for alternative shopping destinations in the U.S.

The campaign, called Winterfest of Special Values, will run from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

It is being sponsored in cooperation with United Airlines, the Hotel Association of Washington, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the D.C. Committee to Promote Washington.

The WCVA will organize special value coupons for area shops, restaurants and attractions; entertainment; local transportation, and tours.

The coupons will be part of a Washington tour package that will be sold through travel agents in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In addition, the association is offering new visitor maps that are printed in Spanish, French, Italian and German.

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