Before you travel

Our goal for you, our visitor, is to have an unforgettable experience in the place we call home. Our efforts alone won’t keep our destination sustainable for the future, but we that you will consider these guidelines for how you move through the region and how you interact with our land, people and wildlife.

Part of this responsibility is to help educate you on how you can participate in this commitment. To do this, we have listed some of the ways to limit your impact and help us grow as a destination when exploring our region. In making decisions like this, you are committing to travel as a responsible tourist, supporting the preservation of the Thompson Okanagan for the future.

The Thompson Okanagan is currently working with an Advisory Committee worldwide on developing a Responsible Visitor Pledge for the region. Until our Pledge is in place we encourage our guests and visitors to consider the Green Tourism Canada Code of Conduct as they travel through the Thomspon Okanagan or any other destination in British Columbia, Canada and beyond.


Where to stay

 Credit: Spirit Ridge, Osoyoos

Credit: Spirit Ridge, Osoyoos

Choose accommodations who value environmental stewardship, social responsibility and support local Indigenous cultures. 

This shows the commitment and the steps taken that these accommodators have towards improving their external impact. Check out these unique and interesting sustainable places to stay for some inspiration.


what and where to eat

 Credit: Destination BC

Credit: Destination BC

The Thompson Okanagan celebrates sustainable farming and local fare. Throughout the year you will find a variety of restaurants and events to showcase the bounty of the valley in a variety of ways.

When visiting always try to shop local when you can. In this fruit picking blog, you’ll find the different seasons for various fruits, and the best farms to find them.


How to explore

It can be tempting to venture off the trail for a viewpoint or a unique photo opportunity, but this can be extremely hard on the local flora and fauna. Stick to the trail and take breaks on hard surfaces like rocks instead of on mosses or forest floor.

 Credit: Destination BC

Credit: Destination BC

 Credit: Destination BC

Credit: Destination BC

For more tips on how to reduce your impact on trail systems, check out our tips on how to hike with less impact on the environment.


How and when to travel

In the summer, many visitors come to the Thompson Okanagan to enjoy the relaxed lakeside lifestyle. As the temperatures cool down, visitors disperse and you’ll oftentimes have an entire beach, trail or lookout to yourself.

Plan on visiting popular areas in the off-season. Consider other travel plans and take a guided tour, splurge on an electric vehicle rental or opt for a bike trip to reduce your travel impact.

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Public bike sharing and tours

 Credit: Destination BC

Credit: Destination BC

Kelowna has Dropbike, a public bike share, which is a great way to travel through the city.

There are also some incredible bike tours along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. You will cover a lot of distance and can even choose between a traditional bike or an electric bike to make the ride even more comfortable.


Electric taxiS and car rentals

Take a ride in one of our electric taxis and or call Current Taxi to jump start your trip in a Tesla.

For longer trips, you can also rent a Tesla from Power Trips and explore by making the most out of the free charging stations throughout our region. Find out where the most convenient electric vehicle charging stations are and make the most of unique experiences you can have whilst you let your vehicle charge.

To understand your impact, take the first step and calculate your carbon footprint.


Carbon Offset projects

There are many ways in which we can reduce our travel impact. Ultimately, travelling produces a carbon footprint in many ways. Emissions from a car rental or a flight to the destination are two fairly large culprits. Carbon Offset Programs work to compensate for this carbon footprint in a variety of ways.

Many of these programs are still in their introductory phase, so make sure you do your research to determine if they are a good fit for you.