Wells Gray Tours celebrates 40 years

Wells Gray Tours, a British Columbia based tour operator with five offices throughout the province,

Travelers on a Wells Gray Tours bus trip to Wells Gray Park stop to examine the bridge over Third Canyon in 1974.

Travelers on a Wells Gray Tours bus trip to Wells Gray Park stop to examine the bridge over Third Canyon in 1974.

Wells Gray Tours, a British Columbia based tour operator with five offices throughout the province, is celebrating its 40th anniversary on a seven-day Alaska cruise departing May 19. With over 500 clients on board and most of the company’s staff, the cruise will be a great celebration.

The company began in May 1972 when founder Roland Neave, a resident of Kamloops and student at Simon Fraser University at the time, learned of a BC Hydro plan to dam the Clearwater River in nearby Wells Gray Provincial Park. An environmental group called  STRRADA protested the project by operating bus tours to the park, and Neave volunteered as a guide. BC Hydro changed its plans, but Neave continued to operate tours each summer. After graduation, he began to expand the destinations, and from these humble beginnings grew the company still known today as Wells Gray Tours.

Over the past 40 years, the company has expanded to become one of British Columbia’s largest tour operators with offices in five BC cities. The head office is still in Kamloops, and there are sales offices in Kelowna, Penticton, and Vernon. Most recently, in April of 2010, a new branch office was opened in Victoria.

Tours are all guided group vacations and depart year round, but destinations are no longer limited to nearby provinces and states and are not restricted to motorcoach travel. On Wells Gray Tours website, you find a great diversity of vacations – cruises, theatre tours, winter getaways to the south, soft adventure, and international vacations to all continents around the globe.