You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. And for the tiny fly-in community of Cape Arctic Inlet Basin Fjord in Nunavut, a good 1st impression is crucial. The hamlet, with a population of less than 300, is looking at seriously getting into the tourism business but fears it faces an insurmountable barrier: its airport code is YUK.
“I honestly don’t think the guys at the Federal Office of National Airport Code Designation ever dreamed this would be a problem,” the community’s mayor Avril Phüle told Open Jaw. “Back in the distant early warning days of the 1960s, when Cape Arctic Inlet Basin Fjord was founded as part of the country’s defence strategy, it was likely a 3 letter code just drawn at random. But we can’t see people getting excited about travelling to YUK.”
As the hamlet nurtures its fledgling tourism business, there is word that “experiential tourism” might work. This would include eating like the locals who live off the land – a diet of caribou and mosses that visiting southerners might not recognize.
“We’ve started a petition for Ottawa,” says King. “We’re looking for a nicer airport code and believe there’s a good chance at one which hasn’t been taken yet.”
Their pick? Agents may one day find themselves booking flights for clients to Cape Arctic Inlet Basin Fjord – better known as YUM.