NWT Tourism Giving Away 150 Free Flights to Yellowknife

The Northwest Territories' main tourism marketer is taking a page out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, hiding dozens of "golden tickets" in promotional material distributed across the country.

The prize? Not Oompa Loompas but, rather, free flights to Yellowknife.

All told, NWT Tourism is giving away 150 Air Canada roundtrip flights — leaving from Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

The NWT Secrets campaign was launched this week by the tourism marketing organization to celebrate and capitalize on Canada's 150th anniversary.

"This campaign is really about seizing the opportunity... to talk about us and to get Canadians visiting our web site, looking at what we have to offer and planning a trip to come right here," says executive director Cathie Bolstad.

Air Canada Express

Ticket winners will be able to take the Air Canada flights to Yellowknife from seven cities across the country, including Vancouver, pictured here. (Mike Hillman/CBC News)

"The ticket is a little piece of the bait. The fish are better."

People can enter to win the first 65 Air Canada tickets by filling out a contest form on the NWT Tourism website. The tickets will be given away in three draws, on Feb. 21, March 21 and April 10.

A fourth draw will also be held on April 10 for five "super prizes," which include two airline tickets, hotel accommodation, local transport and "a sampling of activities in one of our five tourism regions."  

The other 75 tickets will be given away à la Willie Wonka.

The golden tickets are hidden in a smattering of the 30,000 promotional folders NWT Tourism has sent to cities across the country. People can pick up the material on transit routes, at tourism trade shows and at selected restaurants, mostly in Vancouver and Toronto.

"If you're a ticket winner, we're sure hoping that you're going to bring your wife and your children and your grandmother, and your aunts and your uncles," says Bolstad.

No golden ticket for you!

There's a catch: you can't enter the competition if you already live in the N.W.T.

But Bolstad hopes locals will still get involved.

"We're actually counting on the Northwest Territories residents to jump on board this campaign with us, add their voice, share our tweets on Twitter, share our Facebook posts to their families and friends."

The competition isn't being funded through federal 150th anniversary money. It's being paid for entirely by the N.W.T. government.

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