April 18, 2019 3:32 pm
Updated: April 18, 2019 7:19 pm

Kelowna, Saskatoon airports receive federal funding to promote international tourism

Kelowna airport manager Sam Samaddar, left, Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran gather for a photo at a news conference announcing federal funding for the Okanagan’s largest airport on Thursday.

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Kelowna International Airport received federal funding on Thursday to help promote international tourism.

The news was delivered in conjunction with a funding announcement for Saskatoon’s airport. The two airports will share $840,000 to promote and expand tourism through developing and sustaining new cross-border air routes.

Kelowna airport manager Sam Samaddar discusses with the media what the federal funding means to the airport.

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Making the announcement were airport manager Sam Samaddar, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr. The funding was made available by Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Fuhr said the two airports will work together to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air traffic in their respective regions.

The MP added the plans will target airlines and communities in the U.S. as the two markets, respectively, advertise their regions.

Samaddar said YLW is the 10th busiest airport in Canada, adding: “Over the past years, we had phenomenal growth at a rate of 38 per cent.”

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“Our ability to establish ourselves as a hub of innovation to attract investment and to market our product and services is key,” said Fuhr.

“This is why the government of Canada, through the (national) Innovation and Skills Plan, is implementing targeted initiatives to get Canadians the skills, technologies and funding and resources needed to seize new economic opportunities.”

Kelowna’s mayor called the opportunity to partner with Saskatoon to enhance cross-border travel exciting news.

“Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy, and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents,” said Basran.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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