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New bus shuttle links Osoyoos to Kelowna

Connecting from the South Okanagan to Kelowna International Airport is about to get a whole lot easier.

The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, along with partners throughout the South and Central Okanagan including the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Greater Westside Board of Trade, and Air Canada,, have unveiled  a new daily scheduled shuttle service from Osoyoos to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) with 10 inter-community stops along the way.

The service will commence on Monday, Aug. 11, offering four round trips per day.

"Having a regular scheduled transportation link between Osoyoos and Kelowna is something we have needed for years", said South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce president Myers Bennett.

"Tourists flying into Kelowna and Penticton airports have been looking for an easy way to come and stay at our resorts and our residents have wanted more than one time option during the day to connect to our neighbouring communities and airports for appointments and flights."

"World class tourism destinations need to have efficient, effective, and easy to access in-region transportation systems in order to be competitive and this new shuttle service is a major step forward for the South Okanagan intended to attract new tourists and business travellers," added Glenn Mandziuk, president and chief executive officer of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

"What makes this project a success right out of the gate is the strong public and private partnerships that have been forged in the delivery and marketing of this shuttle."

Last year, a network of Okanagan-based organizations joined together to provide air travellers with improved ground transportation options to Penticton and Kelowna airports. Additionally, the service would improve inter-community access for locals and visitors.

Through an RFP process (request for proposals) Let’s Go! Transportation was awarded the contract to provide the daily express shuttle service.

"We plan to give our passengers the best in customer service and a value-added experience when they step onto our shuttles," said Let’s Go! Transportation co-owner Birgit Santana. "From a bottle of water to the tourism overview and highlights that will be provided as we drive them to and/or from their destinations, visitors will feel welcome from the moment they step onto our new customized shuttles."

Rates between Kelowna to Osoyoos are $45 one way or $30 from Penticton to Kelowna Airport. Air Canada, normally in the business of air service, sees this as a unique opportunity to connect air travellers to both Kelowna and Penticton airports to the entire south Okanagan.

"We are delighted to work together with the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Kelowna Airport to promote an efficient and economical shuttle service for our customers flying in and out of the Okanagan valley," said Kevin Howlett, Air Canada’s senior vice-president regional markets.

"Air Canada’s flights from Kelowna and Penticton all connect with our extensive worldwide network from our Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto hubs, and Let’s Go! Transportation’s shuttle is a wonderfully convenient option for both local residents and visiting customers alike to travel between the airports and the wide array of vibrant resorts, wineries and communities in BC’s Okanagan."

For more reservations or information on the South Okanagan Express Shuttle and other shuttle connections visit www.letsgotransportation.ca.

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