We’re excited about a new visitor centre for Kelowna that will welcome visitors and connect residents with information on the many events and attractions in our community.
Our current visitor centre location (located on Harvey Avenue) is outdated and visits to that location are rapidly declining, down by about half in just four years. This represents a lost economic opportunity for Kelowna.
In order to best serve residents and visitors with travel information and planning services, a visitor centre needs to be where the pedestrian traffic is. In comparably sized communities, 78 per cent of North American visitor centres have moved off highways and into high volume pedestrian areas. More than 440,000 people use the boardwalk in front of the proposed visitor centre – that’s over 1,200 people per day on average.
The proposed building will take up a modest footprint and offer concierge-like services, a level of service people associate with the top destinations in the world, where guests and local residents feel welcome and become interested in exploring all that Kelowna has to offer.
The new visitor centre will be located at Kelowna’s original point of welcome, an historic ferry dock, and will once again be used to welcome visitors to our community.
Important information for residents:
The building will be set back from the water by 15 metres and there will be a plaza-like environment with plenty of room to stroll, picnic or enjoy the view.
The building has been realigned to remove it from Simpson Covenant lands, and alternate arrangements have been made for the Tourism Kelowna offices, resulting in a new visitor centre that is approximately 3,000 square feet.
Tourism Kelowna is responsible for raising or borrowing all the funds required to build the project and the City of Kelowna is not contributing funds towards the construction cost.
Important information for visitors
Many visitors start their trip with a walk along our beautiful downtown boardwalk and the new visitor center will be ideally located to help you plan the rest of your trip.
We understand that a downtown location is not idea for RV’s and are developing ways to ensure we serve the RV community during prime RV travel times.
Until this new visitor centre is built, visitors to Kelowna are welcome to stop in for information at our current visitor centre, located at 544 Harvey Avenue, where our team of local experts will help you with travel planning.
We believe that a new visitor centre will better showcase Kelowna and be a source of pride for residents to use and recommend to friends. If you have any feedback or ideas, please contact us.
For more information on the proposed visitor centre, you can read the media release and background documents.