Regional rail trails get tourism boost

A strategy to promote cycling on the rail trails is being developed by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

A strategy to promote cycling on the rail trails is being developed by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

“The centrepiece of the rail trails tourism strategy will be the Kettle Valley/Columbia and Western Railway rail trails routes that form the basis of the Trans Canada Trail throughout the region. TOTA believes the trails have the potential capacity to elevate the tourism experience in both large and small communities situated along the trails.

“The team at TOTA continues to work with the stakeholders in developing world-class tourism activities, products and facilities,” said Michael Ballingall, chair of TOTA. “Outdoor recreation, soft adventure and specifically the development of the regional rail trails product offer the opportunity for tourism expansion in non-peak periods and provide tourism stakeholders and communities of various sizes the opportunity to participate and build their businesses along the rail trail lines.”

“A tourism strategy of this nature is critical to the success of developing the rail trails of our region into a viable tourism product offering. The team that has been assembled to lead this process has extensive background in developing comprehensive strategies that produce results,” said Glenn Mandziuk, president and CEO of TOTA.

The consultation is scheduled to be completed by late fall 2015. TOTA is working on the strategy in association with Destination BC, Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Trans Canada Trail Society the B.C. Cycling Coalition and the Cyclo Touring B.C. Program.