Panel to explore how visitors get around Bow Valley and Banff National Park

A lake in Alberta's Banff National Park is seen in this undated photo. © MartinM303 /

How visitors will get around the Bow Valley to experience Banff National Park in the coming years will be the focus of an expert panel being formed by Parks Canada.

More than 4 million people visit Banff National Park each year for hiking, biking, skiing and camping, and vehicle traffic has increased by more than 30 per cent in the last decade.

"The panel will consider ways to ensure that ecological integrity and conservation of habitat and biodiversity are priorities. It will explore and advise on the use of alternative and renewable energy while reducing waste," read a release.

"And it will provide insights on how to provide diverse mobility options to visitors and residents giving people more choices on how they meet their access needs. Through this initiative, Banff National Park will become a “living laboratory” for integrating smart mobility technologies into the whole visitor experience, testing new ideas, collecting data, and informing research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems."

Officials say Parks Canada will engage Indigenous partners, key stakeholders and the public in the coming months to develop a terms of reference for the panel.

"Parks Canada will seek panel members with expertise in a variety of areas, including protected area management, transportation innovation, technology, and tourism," read the release.