LONDON – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced a new luxury tour offered exclusively for travelers from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to Virginia. The upscale tour offers an elite travel package that combines the commonwealth’s exquisite scenic vistas with exclusive travel experiences ranging from Virginia’s resorts, golf courses, award-winning restaurants, wineries, and spas. The tour is offered in partnership with United Airlines and luxury tour operator North America Travel Service (NATS). Governor McAuliffe made the announcement today during an event at the Savoy Hotel in London, the first stop on his 35th trade and marketing mission.
“Virginia is one of the most iconic destinations in the United States, but we have so much to offer in addition to our renowned historic sites,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the announcement event. “Travelers from the United Kingdom will be delighted to visit our outstanding destinations and accommodations, experiencing the commonwealth and all it has to offer first-hand – from exclusive wine tastings and equestrian adventures to luxurious spa treatments and world-class art exhibitions. My wife, Dorothy, and I are pleased to extend a special invitation to our friends in the United Kingdom to come discover why Virginia is for Lovers.”
The week-long luxury Virginia touring itinerary is inspired by favorite experiences of Virginians showcasing Virginia Horse Country, Virginia Wine Country, the state capital, and the historic Williamsburg area.
Travelers will begin their journey with an arrival at Dulles International Airport, just 26 miles west of Washington, D.C. Visitors will then enjoy a two-night stay at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Virginia Horse Country, where First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy spent her summers riding the acres of property where the resort now sits. The Salamander Resort is a short drive from wineries and award-winning restaurants, itself boasting top-notch dining options between the Gold Cup Wine Bar and Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill.
The next stop, a short two-hour drive away, is the historic and picturesque Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville. Located at the gateway to the Shenandoah National Park and at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Inn presents a quintessential Virginia setting while offering healing plant spa treatments, hot-air balloon rides, and exploration of the extensive nature trials on this 573-acre country estate.
Travelers will then head for the commonwealth’s capital city of Richmond to spend the night at the beautiful and historic Jefferson Hotel, one of Richmond’s crown jewels. This opulent Virginia landmark property has provided guests with unmatched luxury for more than a century, offering Southern-style hospitality peppered with understated elegance. After enjoying an afternoon tea, travelers can visit the award-winning bourbon of Reservoir Distillery in Scott’s Addition, or take a tour of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where visitors can experience more than 35,000 works of art, including the museum’s renowned Fabergé Egg collection.
The final destination of the tour is Williamsburg, within the commonwealth’s famed Historic Triangle. In addition to its rich heritage, the city is one of the United States’ top golf destinations, boasting more than a dozen courses by notable designers. Choose between the Kingsmill Resort, with its stunning accommodations along the James River, or the elegant and sophisticated Williamsburg Inn, in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.
“The United Kingdom is the largest overseas market for tourists visiting Virginia with 266,000 British nationals visiting last year,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia’s Dulles International Airport boasts eight nonstop daily flights from London from three carriers, bringing more than $440 million in direct visitor spending to the commonwealth, and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors thanks to this new partnership with United Airlines and NATS.”
United Kingdom visitor spending increased by more than $98 million in 2016, a 29 percent increase over 2015 figures. Last year, an estimated 1.1 million room-nights in the National Capital Region were sold to U.K. visitors, up from 722,000 the previous year. Sixty-two percent of U.K. visitors to the region were leisure visitors spending an average of more than 10 nights. In 2016, Virginia and the National Capital Region attracted 5.81 percent of all U.K. visitors to the United States, increasing the region’s marketshare by 0.19 points.
The new luxury package is the perfect way for British travelers to experience the very best of what the Commonwealth has to offer. This itinerary is available exclusively from North America Travel Service. Please visit www.northamericatravelservice.co.uk to learn more.
To learn more about visiting Virginia, please visit www.virginia.org.
United Airlines (www.united.com) provides nonstop services to Dulles International Airport. United offers three flights per day from London, and one flight per day from Edinburgh.