Manic Monday – Kettle Valley Rail Trail Continues to be a priority…

Midnight Musings from our CEO

The Thompson Okanagan is truly a world-class destination, however, we believe there is still much more that can be done to reach our full tourism potential and enhance the quality of life for visitors and residents alike.  One such opportunity is our rail trails network across the region and in particular the Kettle Valley Rail Trail (KVRT) system which connects to the “Great Trail” that crosses Canada.

TOTA and our partners are committed to developing the KVRT into a world-class export ready rail trail tourism experience.  The first priority in this effort is focusing on the segment of trail from Midway at Mile ‘0’ to Little Tunnel near Penticton.  Realizing the trail’s tourism potential will yield desirable tourism benefits (rural community development, economic growth and diversification, improved local recreation opportunities) to industry and local communities along the trail. Though the goal is clear, and despite the significant visitation on the trail already, there is a need to take a strategic and coordinated approach to enhancing the trail experience and improving management of the trail.

TOTA, in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, are moving forward with the preparation of a Master Plan for the Midway to Penticton segment of the KVRT over the next 6 months. The Master Plan will be focused on determining what needs to be done along the trail and with the management of the current trail use in order to optimize its tourism potential while also improving the recreational experience for local users.  Development of the plan will be a collaborative effort with trail user groups, stakeholders and local Indigenous communities along the trail.

McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (MCSL) will lead the master planning process. They are experienced trail, outdoor recreation, and tourism planners and will help ensure the planning process is collaborative and lead to an outcome that will help see the fullest tourism potential of the trail.

Should you have any questions about this initiative, you are encouraged to contact Mike Overend – Destination Development Program Specialist at 778.721.5462 or via email at

The Rail Trails were a significant part of the past and we know they can play a major role in the future!


A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…

TOTA continues to be working to develop comprehensive research as well as gathering and presenting information from many 3rd party sources on the latest trends and data on the Tourism Industry.  To assist our stakeholders we will be housing all of this information as it is obtained on our News Centre site in a new research category. For some of the latest information from partners like TripAdivsor and Google be sure to check out this new area of our site (read more). It is always exciting when our Ski Resorts have big Summer news and this past weekend the team at Big White hosted the International Slopestyle event which saw 30 International Mountain Bike Riders show their amazing technic while attracting over 5,000 visitors from outside the area (read more). The fun on mountain continues at Sun Peaks where they are geared up for a tremendous season of summer activities including this year’s Music In the Mountains August 25 – 26 featuring Dan Mangan and Bedouin Soundclash (read more)

VOTING CONTINUES for the WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS; You can still cast your vote for TOTA in the upcoming World Travel Awards under the category of Responsible Tourism. YOU get to be the judge and help put our region in the forefront of international markets.  To register and vote for the Thompson Okanagan go to (read more).

Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at

Keep following and contributing to 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.  Be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories.

All News