Quick, think of the friendliest places you’ve visited.

According to a new report from Expedia.ca, that should include Airdrie.

The city just north of Calgary claimed the No. 2 spot in Expedia’s annual rankings of the friendliest communities in Canada. The No. 1 spot went to Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The rankings, determined by the online reviews from hotel guests, highlighted Airdrie’s family-friendly focus and proximity to nearby attractions. But what really tipped the scales is the commitment to customer service noted in travellers’ reviews.

Rhonda Oswald, general manager of Wingate by Wyndham Airdrie, said she wasn’t surprised the city ranked so high.

“We’re passionate about customer service and making people feel welcome and getting them on to their next adventure,” she told the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday.

“I think that it’s easy to arrive and to get your head around everything that’s around you, from the big skies to the prairie fields to the mountains. It’s just easy without being fussy and busy.”

Among the many glowing reviews of Airdrie hotels, Oswald’s own establishment got some shout-outs for the extra effort her staff puts forward, whether its fresh baked cookies for patrons to the way Oswald once dipped into her own coin purse so a customer could do their laundry.

“It’s what my specialty is and what I’m passionate about, and the people at my front desk embody a certain organic happiness that is shared with the guests,” she said. “I just think it’s the most important thing to give to people.”

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With files the Calgary Eyeopener.



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