5 Takeaways from YEG Travel Show

The 2020 YEG Travel Show is back on February 16, 2020 from 11AM-6PM.

WIN VIP PASSES TO 2020! Regular general admission is free, however, if you’d like to win pairs of sold-out VIP passes with swag (regular passes still available), share this article on social media and tag @yegventures on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Make sure your post is public or we won’t find it. Winners will be announced February 13, 2020.

See you at this year’s event which has more info here.

Disclaimer: Yegventures is working with YEG Travel Show as a partner to provide VIP passes to the 2020 YEG Travel Show. No additional compensation has been provided from the vendor.

The following article was published Feb 15, 2019 after the 2019 YEG Travel Show. Some information may now be outdated.

There have been several attempts to run a travel show in Edmonton in the past, but none with such reach and success as the Edmonton Travel Show (YEG Travel Show on social media) run by the Travel Gurus. From a Twitter search, Newwest Travel had run a show back in 2012, and Expedia Cruise Ship Centre has had a show several years in the running since 2015.

The YEG Travel Show was held at the Edmonton International Airport this year.

While the YEG Travel Show this year seems to have popped up out of nowhere, it was actually the third edition of Alberta’s largest travel show organized by Travel Gurus. The first event in 2017 was held at Holiday Inn Edmonton South, the 2018 show was at Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, and this early 2019 show took place right at Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel connected to Edmonton International Airport.

The YEG Travel Show drew in large crowds this year.

For many, this was the first time they’ve attended the show, thanks to the catalyst which pushed the event into the stratosphere – Edmonton International Airport (EIA). The location, timing, and sponsors all helped to allow this show to take off without a delay.

Yegventures correspondent Chris Lui and I went to the show this year. And whether you attended this year’s YEG Travel Show or not, here are 5 Takeaways to take note of.

1. Parking at EIA

The partnership with Edmonton International Airports and the location this year gave all attendees the experience of what it’s like to park and fly. In the past, I’ve traveled to and from EIA for flights by being dropped off, taking the route 747 by Edmonton Transit Service, a taxi, hotel shuttle, and 3 different parking options (Park’N Fly, JetSet Parking, and EIA’s Easy Park). This was the first time I’ve used EIA’s Value Park service and I’ve got to say that it was both of value (the show included free parking), and a convenience.

Attendees experienced what it’s like to park and fly.

Value Park is an affordable self-serve parking lot, and only a brisk walk from the hourly parking, which leads to the main terminal. It was also distant enough to have a shuttle service for pick up and drop off. So whether you’d like to walk or ride, you’d get to the terminal and have ample time for your flight.

If you pre-book a week in advance, you’ll receive 10% off your parking. You may even book up to 12 months in advance. Parking rates are based on 24 hour stays, but have a 6-hour grace period to give extra time for checking-in, or delayed return flights. The online rate ranges from $2.75/30 min, to $15.25/day, to $76.25/week, and $228.75/month.

As a special parking deal through the show, you may save 30% if you book online using the promo code VALENTINE if you book by March 31 for travel by May 31, 2019.

2. Staying at EIA

For nearly everyone we met at the YEG Travel Show, it was the first time they had stepped into the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel which opened May 2014. For attendees, it was a glimpse at what it’s like to stay at the hotel to travel for a morning flight. I’ve stayed at the hotel before and not only is it a breeze to wake up and walk through your gate, but it was a very restful sleep with the state-of-the-art architecture to cancel out the noise of the roaring engines of airplane traffic.

The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel at Edmonton International Airport.

The Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is one of only two 4-diamond hotels in the Edmonton metro region, which means the cost may be out of some people’s budgets. But there’s good news to those who also don’t want to stay in a motel overnight either.

Another hotel, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, will be opening on the growing Airport City (mentioned in the next Takeaway) spring/summer this year! Located near the new Costco, it’s the perfect spot to stay overnight so you don’t have to fight the morning traffic to Leduc.

The new hotel is five-stories with 135 rooms and suites. It will include a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness room, meeting rooms, complimentary breakfast, and an airport shuttle, of course. If you forget something, or would like extra dining options, hop on a shuttle to the Premium Outlet Collection.

3. New Developments at Airport City

Edmonton International Airport is on its way to the latest trend around the world to make the airport itself a destination. Welcome to Airport City.

Photo credit: Edmonton International Airport

Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel as experienced by show-goers was not only an addition of amenities to the terminal, but truly a rebirth to the entire Edmonton International Airport campus as the ultimate place for a staycation. If you live certain parts of south and east Edmonton, why fight city traffic when the drive to Airport City is less than both Downtown and West Edmonton Mall?

The addition of Premium Outlet Collection last year was the first of a series of projects south of the Airport Road loop. Costco recently opened, with Fairfield Inn by Marriott to come, as well as more restaurant options.

To the north of the Airport Road loop, is RedTail Landing Golf Club, the stretch vehicles will see along the highway. Between this area and the Canada North terminal is a whole new set of services with adult visitors in mind.

Me and Chris at the Century Mile booth.

Century Mile will be opening a new horse racing and casino set to open April 1, 2019. There will be up to 800 thoroughbred race horses going through training by the one-mile track. With the void left by Northlands, the casino will also contain 550 slot machines. If you win big, try your luck with a first-class ticket to Las Vegas.

4. Flair Airlines, Locally-Based

Destinations with Flair Airlines. Source: FlairAir.ca

The addition of Flair Airlines has put Edmonton onto the map as a hub for North American air travel, literally. Having an airline with a hub at EIA in Edmonton has allowed us to add new direct flight to Miami. Flair Airlines flies to a total 11 destinations from YEG, including Toronto, Vancouver, Orlando, Palm Springs, and Phoenix.

Flair Airlines also gave the YEG Travel Show a sneak peek of the new rebranding which happened February 13, 2019. The new branding includes simple black and mint green, with a circle motif which allows content to fill it, such as featured photos from Instagrammers. It’s a brand which connects with people on their phones, and their wallets.

Flair Airline’s new livery. Source: FlairAir.ca

With ‘Canada’s Low Fare Airline’ (old slogan) right in our own backyard, it’s ‘Plane & Simple’ (new slogan) to not only shop locally, but fly locally as well.

Chris and I had the opportunity to fly with Flair Airlines on a Flair Daytrip to Vancouver (sponsored), and I’ve flown with Flair Airlines as a paid customer as well. The Vancouver daytrip (click here) opened our eyes to a whole new world available to us. The affordability of a return daytrip means that you can head out in the morning and return back without ever having to refill your gas tank or for a hotel stay. As spring and summer approaches, we’ll be posting in depth of quick daytrips, weekend getaways, and a giveaway!

Vancouver is one of the Canadian destinations with Flair Airlines.

If you book by February 20 for travel between April 2 to June 28, 2019 using the promo code YEGSHOW20, you may save 20% off the base fare.

Latest discount code: SIMPLE20 for 20% off base fare for flights from March 7 to June 30, 2019. Book by March 8, 2019.

5. Best Offers

There were many special offers to attendees of the YEG Travel Show. These are the top 3 we found:

  1. Flair’s 20% off base fare (find this offer above)
  2. Travel Gurus offers. Receive up to 7 days free parking OR $100 off when booking a vacation package with Travel Gurus. Contact Travel Gurus. Valid until Dec 31, 2019.
  3. Free suitcase with Trafalgar booking. Book any new 2019 Trafalgar trip, apply deposit within 24 hours and receive a Trafalgar suitcase per booking. Contact Travel Gurus.
Swag from this year’s YEG Travel Show.

In addition to special offers was, of course, swag! We both agree that United Airlines won the prize for the best swag this year. The airline gave away pens, drink coozies, chapstick, and carry-on hand sanitizers. The pens write very well too!

So from EIA, keep calm, and travel carry-on!