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Press release

10 Sep 2014 - Sunwing Vacations launches direct, non-stop flights from Ottawa to St Pete/Clearwater, Florida starting in December

It will soon be even easier for residents of Ottawa to reach some of Florida's finest beaches with the introduction of a new direct, non-stop flight commencing December 18, 2014, which will connect the capital with this popular west coast Florida destination in 3 ½ hours. Departing Thursdays, the weekly service will be operated on state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 series aircrafts that seat 189 passengers. On route, travellers can relax with award-winning onboard service together with a complimentary in-flight entertainment program and food and beverages. The addition of the new route this winter will make Ottawa the third Canadian city to benefit from a direct, non-stop service to the region after Toronto and Halifax, something that has been welcomed by the region.

Noah Lagos, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Director, commented, "We are excited to add another international destination with Sunwing Airlines and make it easier for Canadians from Ottawa to arrive at our award-winning beach destination." David Downing, Interim Executive Director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater agreed, "We're excited to welcome increased service with our partners at Sunwing. This partnership underscores the importance of Canada to our area and keeps St. Pete/Clearwater front-of-mind with Canadian visitors year-round."

Andrew Dawson, Chief Operating Officer of the Sunwing Travel Group, also commented, adding that the decision to increase services was linked to overall success across the region. "We are delighted to be able to offer a third gateway from Canada to St. Pete/Clearwater. Florida is an ever popular destination amongst our clientele and we receive consistently good feedback from both our customers and travel agent partners. We are certain this addition to our flight schedule will be well received by our customers."

Both St. Petersburg and Clearwater frequently make it into the top ten best beaches list compiled by Dr. Beach, America's foremost beach expert. Suitable for families and couples, their beaches offer an array of water sports and entertainment along with fine white sand and crystal clear, calm waters. Highlights include snorkelling or kayaking at Port De Soto Park, getting away from it all at Caledesi Island State Park, also dubbed the 'honeymoon island', or watching street performers and artists at work on Clearwater's Pier 60 as the sun sets over the water.

However, the area offers much more than just beaches. St. Petersburg's Salvador Dali Museum holds the most complete collection of the artist's work in the world. A haven for artists, the town's Corey Avenue is lined with independent galleries along with tempting independent shops and boutiques. Further shopping opportunities can be found in neighbouring Dunedin; also one of America's most walkable towns. Nature lovers will be captivated by a visit to Weedon Island Preserve; a haven for dolphins, manatees and sharks.

A beach trolley service links St. Petersburg and Clearwater and the smaller towns in between so travellers can get around easily. However, those keen to explore will find the area is also strategically positioned as a base from which to uncover the varied attractions of neighbouring Tampa Bay, including the world renowned Busch Gardens. Sunwing Vacations can arrange car rental direct from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and design a custom touring itinerary to discover the state. Accommodation options within St. Petersburg are varied ranging from elegant resorts to relaxed condos; all of which enjoy direct beach access or are a short walk across the street from the town's finest beaches.

To celebrate the launch of the new route, Sunwing Vacations is extending an introductory offer whereby customers who book two flight seats for travel to St. Pete/Clearwater between September 10-19, 2014 from Ottawa, Toronto or Halifax for travel between November 3, 2014 and May 13, 2015 can benefit from a 40% discount on the second seat.

A one-week vacation package to St. Pete/Clearwater starts from just $595 plus $325 taxes per person based on two people departing from Ottawa on January 8, 15 or 22 and sharing a room on a European plan basis at the Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center. A mid-size Alamo rental car is also included.

For more information or to book your St. Pete/Clearwater vacation, or contact your local travel agent.