It might be easy to scoff at the “I” in HIA. After all, Harrisburg and Middletown aren’t the most cosmopolitan of cities.
But we must not forget that Harrisburg International Airport is worthy of that “I.” While nonstop international flights are lacking into the airport (Toronto is a common departure/destination), it sees its share of world travelers via connecting flights from major Northeast cities.
As Dan Miller reported in today’s Press And Journal, since 2009, the amount of travel from China into and out of the midstate using Harrisburg International Airport has more than doubled.
Airport brass believe that will explode, and they are playing host to a “China Welcome” event to be held from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, Londonderry Township. Among things to address are overcoming the language barrier, having good signage, and ensuring that vendors at HIA accept the credit card that travelers from China use.
We have reported on growth of international students at Penn State Harrisburg. About 20 percent of the 5,000 students are likely to be from overseas, and many are from China. The easier their travels can be made to campus, the better it is for the college and, in turn, the region.
And don’t forget about Chocolate World and Hershey for Chinese visitors. For example, of the 4 million estimated riders of the Chocolate World ride each year, 3 to 4 percent are from China. Hershey is a popular stop for groups of Chinese tourists who are visiting the Northeast, and the company often provides ambassadors who speak Mandarin Chinese for tour groups.
What we said about the international students who come to Penn State applies to international travelers as well: What would we have them tell their families and friends when they go home?
What do we want the perception of Chinese business leaders who come through the airport to be when they go back to their companies? Having a viable and welcoming airport can play a key role in that perception.
This open house is a smart move. HIA is positioned to take advantage of anticipated growth.
Kudos to airport management for making this happen.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:50
The calendar keeps flipping by as we head toward October. Already. It’s hard to believe.
It wasn’t along ago that we were lamenting the ultra-hot days of summer (although it’s still pretty warm out these days). The kids were enjoying being out of school. We were taking our family vacations.
We especially enjoyed the return of Labor Day weekend fireworks after a three-year absence. What a display it was! The location along the boat launch at Union and Susquehanna streets made the display look especially glorious. It was a great idea to make the day’s events more complete, too, with flag football, corn hole, zumba, baseball events and food. The entire $18,000 cost was covered by almost $20,000 raised by the Mayoral Madness charity basketball games in 2015 and 2016. Thanks to all involved for making this happen.
But even that now seems like a distant memory. The kids are back in school, some at the new Middletown complex. Halloween is just around the corner. In fact, we have details about the upcoming parade on our front page today. That will be followed closely by Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Blink your eyes and they run together, especially with stores continually putting out items earlier and earlier for the next holiday.
But don’t let the fall slide by. The leaves are starting to turn. It makes for a beautiful time here in Pennsylvania. We are lucky to be in such a spot where fall is an event we can enjoy. There are plenty of fall festivals. If you didn’t make it to the Middletown Home on Sunday, you missed one of the big ones, the Pumpkin Fest. There are plenty of pictures on Page C1.
Enjoy our high school sports season, too. Even if you don’t have relatives playing on the teams, get out and support your school, or your adopted school. They can always use a few more cheers.
If you aren’t a fan of cold and snow, cherish these weeks as autumnal colors take over the landscape. Check out the pages of the Press And Journal for things to do. Central Pennsylvania has much to offer. Take advantage of it.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 16:04