Manic Monday – July 4, 2016

Midnight Musings from our CEO

Who says we don’t have an incredible story?

We marked Canada’s 149th birthday last Friday and today our neighbors to the south celebrate 240 years of Independence. Many consider our countries as young; our history and culture limited; our story lacking in comparison to our European counterparts. Sadly those critics are terribly inaccurate.

Recently, I attended a meeting where the  El Camino de Santigo trail in Spain was sited as one of the world’s top pilgrimages. This trek which has been traveled for well over 1,000 years is truly remarkable, yet we were all reminded that many of the trails in the Thompson Okanagan date back over 10,000 years from usage from our First Nations.

Incredible history and culture over centuries is literally in our backyard.  Told through the stories of our Interior First Nations people and weaved from a respect of the creator, the land and the legends of the wildlife, theirs is a unique and vibrant past that brings important context to a modern world.

Together with Aboriginal Tourism BC, Thompson Okanagan Tourism is embarking on a journey with our First Nations communities to bring forward this rich history and create a foundation of tourism products and experiences that authentically portray their traditional stories and beliefs.
As part of this journey we are pleased to welcome a new member of our combined teams Mr Greg Hopf. Greg joins us in the role of  Aboriginal Tourism Specialist and will be meeting with each of the 32 bands in the region over the coming weeks and months working to assist them in tourism product development and marketing.

We look forward to seeing where the past takes us and to expanding our tourism history into the thousands rather than hundreds of years.

A Few Highlights This Weeks News Centre

July 4th not only marks a celebration for our neighbors to the north but members from our Okanagan First Nations will be paddling from Nk’Mip to Oroville as part of the weekend celebrations (go to link); History Hat Creek Ranch is bringing history to life through a new partnership with QuestUpon. Together they have created interactive walking tours that combine augmented reality, trivia, scavenger hunts and even geocaching (go to link); and to round out your history knowledge head to RJ Haney Heritage Park Village and Museum July 10th for Pioneer Day (link)

Register now for this year’s 25th annual TOTA Golf Tournament taking place on September 1st, 2016 at the Bear Golf Course in Kelowna. You can download the registration form from our website

Read all of this weeks New Centre stories at

We hope you keep following and contributing on TOTA’s Facebook and twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events  and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region and be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories from around the region.

All News