VIRGINIA

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell kicks off National Tourism Week

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is marking the start of National Tourism Week.

The weeklong event starts Saturday and runs through May 13.

The governor is touting the $19 billion economic impact of Virginia's tourism industry. The industry also supports more than 204,000 jobs and provides $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

McDonnell also is encouraging Virginians to start planning a Virginia vacation for their family this summer by visiting the state's tourism website at www.virginia.org.

Virginia ranks eighth in the nation for domestic travelers. And spending by international visitors to Virginia increased by 12 percent in 2010 and spending by Canadian visitors increased by 16.6 percent.

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