On a grey fall Saturday morning in the Okanagan, it was easy to understand the appeal of a quick getaway to Mexico.
Or Hawaii. Or just about anywhere, for that matter.
"I'll take whatever prize they want to give me. I'm not fussy," Orville Coleburg joked as he stood among a horde of people at Kelowna International Airport.
Coleburg was referring to the free vacations up for grabs at the annual Hot Sun Destinations Event, organized by airport staff to promote Kelowna's link to tropical destinations.
Coleburg, who had been to previous such events, said it was always worth a drive out to the airport.
"I just wish I was actually getting on a plane today," he said. "Oh well. Maybe they'll give me the good news later on I did win one of these trips."
Tour companies, airlines and representatives of all-inclusive resorts were among those staffing booths on two levels at the south end of the airport.
Dave Emery was promoting the Hilton Resort in Puerto Vallarta and the Krystal chain of hotels and resorts.
"It makes sense to be here now, because this is the time of year when everyone is looking to make their winter travel plans," Emery said.
Though many holiday bookings are made online, Emery said there was still real value in the face-to-face opportunity afforded by such vacation trade shows.
"I go to these kind of shows at other airports, but this one is particularly well-attended," Emery said.
Other firms represented at the one-day event included Barcelo Hotels and Resorts, the Honua Kai Resort in Maui, Hard Rock Resorts, Contiki Vacations, Exotic Tours and Insight Vacations.
Kelowna has non-stop flights to seven other airports. About 1.5 million passengers used the airport last year.