West Kelowna  

Accommodation travel ban to lift in West Kelowna

Tourism travel ban lifting

The accommodation travel ban for West Kelowna is lifting tonight.

The order that was put in place on Aug. 19 for several B.C. Interior cities to free up hotel rooms for evacuees. It was then altered on Aug. 22 to remove all cities from the ban, except for West Kelowna.

On Thursday night, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma said there is now ample hotel rooms for evacuees in the region.

"West Kelowna looks forward to welcoming tourists into safe areas in the community once again,” she said in a statement.

"We're incredibly grateful to everyone who changed their travel plans to the Interior following the accommodation and travel restrictions issued on Aug. 19. We also want to thank the tourism industry for being nimble, supportive and understanding, and stepping up to make space available for evacuees, as well as for the many firefighters and emergency crews who are protecting us.”

Ma said tourists should still be conscious of wildfire activity in the B.C. Interior and stay aware of alerts and evacuation zones.

"From speaking with local leadership, I know that many areas of the Shuswap - including Salmon Arm, Sicamous and most of Shuswap Lake (except for fire-impacted areas) - are looking forward to having tourists back in their communities. Similarly, many communities in the Okanagan are eager to welcome people, while others - like Lake Country - are advising that now is still not a good time to visit.”

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