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CEO of Tourism Authority ecstatic over Air Canada Rouge route

CEO of Tourism Authority ecstatic over Air Canada Rouge route

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This Thursday, Air Canada Rouge will make its first regularly scheduled international non-stop flight to the Argyle International Airport (AIA) and will therefore go down in history as the first airline to do so.

And, chief executive officer (CEO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Glen Beache is overjoyed.

“I am ecstatic; I mean, when you look at it and what we have done in the first year, and it’s not even a year yet, there is always room for improvement, but overall I am very happy about it,” Beache told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

The flight, which is sold out, will be met on arrival by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of Tourism Cecil McKie and Beache.

The SVGTA boss said this is an important milestone for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), as Air Canada can be considered one of the big boys around the world in terms of the airline industry and it will be coming to SVG once weekly during the winter season until April 12, 2018.

The plane is an A319 with a capacity of 136 seats.

Already, stay-over visitor arrivals from Canada to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are up more than 10 per cent for the first nine months of 2017, and numbers from this market will only continue to climb with Air Canada Rouge’s new direct flights into the AIA.

The 10.4 per cent increase in stay-over visitor arrivals from Canada delivered 5,997 visitors to SVG, up from 5,433 in 2016.

The SVGTA promoted the destination in Toronto earlier this fall, with a campaign that included a high-visibility taxi wrap promotion on 60 vehicles. Would-be vacationers also saw ads during traffic reports on Global Television Network, and heard radio ads on stations in St Catherine’s and Hamilton. The SVGTA and Air Canada Vacations are also doing co-op marketing campaigns with local hotels.

However, Beache said that we should have had some other announcements by now, but things did not go the way they wanted.

“This is not due to our side of it, but it’s just a process one has go through,” said the CEO.

SVG is one of six new routes for Air Canada Rouge for the winter season. Flights are available for purchase at aircanada.com and through travel agents.

According to the airline, its first long-haul international scheduled service to SVG “offers new choices for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters.”(LC)

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