We all have a role to play in ensuring safe and responsible travel in British Columbia. Respectful trip planning helps to ensure we can all continue to enjoy the many beautiful locations across our province in the future.
Travelling is a little different this year. We need to take more time to plan ahead, as many businesses and services across BC have adopted new protocols, and made changes to their schedules or policies to ensure your safety. Some may be operating at a reduced capacity, with limited hours, or require advance bookings.
Tip: See accommodation, transportation, and experience provider listings at ExploreBC.com/Book to start your research, visit IndigenousBC.com for information on Indigenous travel experiences, or contact the local Visitor Centre for more information.
We need to take more time with planning, and be conscious of our impact on each community we visit. Responsible tourism means that the experience creates a positive impact for everyone involved–both residents and visitors alike. You may see new protocols and policies within communities to ensure your safety; please respect the guidelines they’ve put in place. Contact the local business(es) you plan on visiting to make sure you understand the latest guidelines.
Tip: Visit ExploreBC.com/TravelUpdates for more “Know Before You Go” information, visit IndigenousBC.com for information on Indigenous travel experiences, or contact the local Visitor Centre for more information.
If you normally travel with extended family or with several friends, consider travelling in a smaller group. Travelling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practise physical distancing in public, and may lessen the impact on the destination.
Tip: For more Covid-19 health information, visit the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control at BCCDC.ca.
Consider a slower travel pace this fall to help curb the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, consider choosing one destination and one accommodation for your entire trip, and use that as a central location for exploring nearby destinations.
Tip: British Columbia has unique experiences to offer every type of traveller in every corner of the province. Visit ExploreBC.com for travel idea inspiration or contact the local Visitor Centre to discover hidden gems.
If you’re heading to a more rural area of the province, stock up with the essentials before you leave home (i.e. groceries). This helps lessen your impact on BC communities who may be experiencing supply issues, and reduces your touchpoints within communities who may have limited health care facilities.
Tip: Create a Clean Trip Kit, including hand sanitizer, soap, gloves, masks, and toilet paper. While some businesses and destinations may supply these for visitors, it’s not guaranteed.
BC’s tourism businesses are eager to welcome you back this fall and many communities rely on your support. Thank you!
Tip: Speak with local Visitor Centre staff to learn more about how to support local businesses.
Practise physical distancing and frequent handwashing hygiene to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and wear a mask if you cannot keep a safe distance from people outside your travel group for an extended period of time.
Tip: Speak to the tourism businesses you are visiting about the steps they are taking to keep you and their staff safe. Business are required to post their COVID-19 health and safety protocols at their workplace for staff and visitors to see.
When exploring BC’s outdoors, always leave it in a better state than when you arrived. Respect local wildlife. Minimize the impact of campfires and check BC Wildfire Service for fire bans and fire safety tips. Pack out what you pack in, and dispose of waste properly. These are just some of key principles of Leave No Trace, a set of seven guidelines for enjoying the outdoors responsibly while minimizing your impact on the landscape.
Tip: Visit LeaveNoTrace.ca to learn more about responsible outdoor recreation.
No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared. Remember to follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials.
Tip: AdventureSmart.ca is a great resource for information before heading outdoors.
Remember, activities may take longer than usual, or places may be at capacity when you arrive. Practice patience. Have a back-up plan researched and ready. Be calm, patient, and kind, and remember, we’re all in this together.
Tip: Visit ExploreBC.com/TravelUpdates, IndigenousBC.com or connect with the local Visitor Centre to see what’s open in BC by community or for trip planning advice.
Feature image: Nuk Tessli Wilderness Experience | Kari Medig
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