New ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ sign at Dulles is one of 105 to come this year

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-06 19:57:39-05

RICHMOND, Va. – It was a cold snowy day in Northern Virginia when Gov. Terry McAuliffe unveiled the warm welcoming which will now greet travelers at Dulles Airport.

The new signage is a first of its kind at the international airport and displays the beloved “Virginia is For Lovers” slogan.

About 22 million travelers move through Dulles annually. The governor intends for the new sign to remind and encourage travelers to explore “Virginia and its abundant business opportunities and travel destinations.”

“In order to build a new Virginia economy, we need to continue to not only increase tourism, but attract new businesses and bring the Virginia story to new audiences,” Gov. McAuliffe said.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones agreed with McAuliffe. “Driving home our travel message at every gateway to the Commonwealth is imperative to increasing visitation and spending in Virginia,” he said.

The reveal was part of a bigger plan to roll out new “Welcome to Virginia” signs at all of the Commonwealth’s 105 interstate gateways.

A large cardinal perched on a flowering dogwood was the last design and it was rolled out in 2006. Many of these signs have reached the end of their usable lives due to night-time visibility.

The new signs promote an iconic slogan that first launched in 1969 (Summer of Love!) and was voted by Forbes magazine as one of the top ten advertising campaigns of all time.

All of the new signs are consistent with Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) “Virginia is for Lovers” branding and logo, and will welcome travelers with a clean, modern aesthetic.  VTC provided the design of the signs; VDOT will facilitate the production and installation.

The welcome signs should all be updated by the July 4 holiday.