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DULLES—Today, representatives of the Commonwealth of Virginia welcomed officials from Cathay Pacific Airways to Dulles International Airport (IAD) in celebration of the carrier’s inaugural flight to Virginia from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launch of the longest nonstop air route between Hong Kong and the Capital Region.
With travel from the Asia Pacific Region to Virginia forecast to grow by roughly 100,000 visitors over the next decade, Cathay Pacific’s four weekly nonstop flights put Virginia in a prime position to capitalize on the increasing interest in travel to the Commonwealth and the Capital Region overall.
“Today, we celebrate the global connection this new route represents. Cathay Pacific’s new flights open the door for increased tourism, allowing us to extend a warm welcome to those visiting from Hong Kong and around the globe,” said Governor Northam. “We look forward to introducing a new generation of travelers to our incredibly diverse tourism offerings, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to our 28 miles of warm sunny beaches. Combined with the added potential for increased business and trade investment, this new service is a big win for all involved.”
Cathay Pacific is the latest in a series of new airline services launching at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport in 2018. In 2017, Dulles’ international passenger activity increased to a record 7.8 million.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia welcomes Cathay Pacific’s decision to launch its service to Hong Kong from Dulles International,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This route will bring new business, investment, and cultural opportunities to our Commonwealth and the entire Capital Region.”
International tourism is an important component of Virginia’s economic strategy. In 2017, Virginia welcomed 1.1 million international visitors, who spent almost $2 billion in the Commonwealth. Of those visitors, 157,000 were from the Asia Pacific Region. China, India, South Korea, and Japan are all top 10 markets for Virginia visitation.
“This new non-stop route is a victory in our efforts to grow Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Hong Kong plays an important role in global commerce and Cathay Pacific’s nonstop flights between Hong Kong and Dulles provide Virginia an opportunity to increase tourist and business visits from Asia overall, and enhance our ability to recruit new foreign direct investment opportunities.”
About Virginia Tourism
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is the state agency responsible for marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. Its iconic slogan, Virginia is for Lovers, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2017, visitors to Virginia spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. For more information about Virginia Tourism, please visit virginia.org.
About Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Airways offers over 100 flights per week to Hong Kong and beyond, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, from six cities in the USA and two in Canada: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto. For more information, including current fares and availability, visit cathaypacific.com/us, facebook.com/cathaypacificus, Twitter (@CathayPacificUS) or Instagram (@CathayPacific). For North American reservations, dial toll-free: 1-888-233-ASIA.
About the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates the U.S. Capital Region’s gateways to the nation and the world, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as the Dulles Airport Access Highway, the Dulles Toll Road and construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail public transit system through northern Virginia. A record 46.7 million passengers passed through the two airports in 2017.
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