Wells Gray Tours founder earns National Tour Association lifetime achievement award

Big honour for tour operator

The man behind a successful Kelowna tourism business has been honoured by his peers.

Roland Neave, the founder of Wells Gray Tours, received the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Tour Association two weeks ago in Shreveport, La.

Neave received the award for his commitment to the travel and tourism industry that is rooted in passion for the environment.

His business, after all, got started when he participated in an environmental protest at Wells Gray Park in 1972. Neave was against the construction of seven dams in Wells Gray, so he starting running bus tours to the park and “showing people its many wonders,” according to a press release. It created such an outcry that the dams were cancelled.

And a business was born. Neave started running tours to other parts of the world after graduating from university in 1975, and now Wells Gray Tours runs trips from B.C. to all seven continents.

Neave has given plenty of time to the NTA throughout his career as well, serving as a panelist for seminars, contributing to the Canadian members committee, and orchestrating experiences during the organization’s events, including the 2007 Spring Meet held in Kelowna.

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