A special one-off tour for Canadian travel trade professionals to experience northern Canada in the winter – including hopefully the northern lights – is fully booked and ready for take-off.
Branded the “Long Night” and with flights provided by Air North, the trip will bring over 80 travel industry specialists from across Canada to a two-night, action-packed celebration in the Yukon (Jan. 4-6). As part of participating in this rare winter adventure, the travel pros will also be supporting worthy charities.
“Nothing like this has been tried before,” says Nicole Petersen of Air North, who conceived the Long Night concept and has been organizing and promoting it. “Air North has been honoured to support Vancouver-based Friends in Travel in their many previous grassroots charity initiatives.”
She was inspired by their annual Longest Day fundraising run event, and thought it would be brilliant to bring a group of travel professionals to Air North’s base in Whitehorse for some fun tours, and to raise money for worthy charities.
“The idea just ballooned into this crazy adventure from there,” she said.
Originally planned for 60 participants, Air North maxed out its aircraft capacity to accommodate 82 travel sellers from coast to coast to coast.
“We are thrilled to have participants coming from as far east as Quebec, from above the Arctic Circle and as far west as Vancouver Island,” said Petersen.
With the support of Long Night partners, travel professionals will experience a side of the Yukon normally reserved for locals. At the darkest time of year they will experience Canadian winter activities like soaking in the Takhini Hot Pools and sampling the famous Sourtoe cocktails at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City.
Extension trips have since been added to fulfill requests for activities and destinations outside of the planned two-day itinerary. These include a Yukon wilderness adventure and lodge retreat in Whitehorse, and an instantly sold-out three-day Western Arctic adventure to Inuvik, Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk NWT.
Partners for these and other elements of the program include Air North, Up North Adventures at Sundog Retreat, Tundra North Tours, the community of Inuvik and partners, Tourism Yukon, Yukon hotels, the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, Yukon Wildlife Preserve, the Klondike Experience, Parks Canada and more. Charities that will benefit from the proceeds include Challenge Whitehorse and the Dawson City Foodbank.