January 10, 2016 9:09 pm

Okanagan tourism up thanks to low loonie and big powder

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KELOWNA–Skiers and snowboarders are a big reason why winter tourism is hot this year in the Okanagan.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association says more than 150,000 passengers passed through the Kelowna International Airport in December, which is a record number.

Tourism operators are crediting the sinking loonie and good snow.

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“Currently we have close to a metre-and-a-half base and over all since the start of the winter season, we’ve seen four-and-a-half metres of snowfall here,” says Eric Kalacis, Director of Sales and Marketing at Silver Star Mountain Resort.

Kalacis says international tourism is up 6 per cent at the resort while American tourism is up by 30 per cent over last year.

Ski resorts are applauding improved connections at YLW and the launch of economy airline NewLeaf.

Operators are hoping affordable tickets on flights that will connect Kelowna with cities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario starting in February will lead to an increase in domestic
visitors in the months ahead.

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