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With summer on the horizon, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism is partnering with transportation agencies to boost mass transit options for visitors coming from near and far.

David Matys, vice-president of destination development for Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, said he is excited to work with On-It Regional Transit, especially with the increase in first-ever service to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

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“We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Banff National Park this summer; this summer is going to continue to be very popular with regional and longer-haul audiences. I guess the most important message we would have is that they need to plan ahead to avoid disappointment,” Matys said, adding that parking is limited in the summer months, and transit shuttles and private tours are the best ways to experience the park.

“We have a fairly integrated transit system that not everybody is familiar with, but there are options to get here from Calgary that’s not in a car.”

Matys said the Banff and Lake Louise Tourism messaging has for several years been about a co-ordinated transportation shift campaign between Parks Canada, the Town of Banff and the organization to encourage visitors to plan ahead and take transit.

“Visitors are listening. On-It was extremely popular last summer and even on long weekends through the winter this past year, and they’ve increased their service because there’s a demand. So, we really applaud and thank those visitors who are booking alternative options to get here — it is making a difference.”

Matys said in terms of moving around Banff National Park, Roam Transit had a record year in 2023, while Parks Canada recorded an exceptional year in terms of people using shuttles. He added that private operators are also seeing an increase in people moving to mass transportation options.

“Our message about planning ahead and considering exploring the park in a different fashion than within your car is being heard, and we’re greatly encouraged by that,” he said.

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