The ‘Discover Camping’ booking website for provincial park campgrounds was so busy last year it crashed.
This year they’ve revamped the BC Parks reservation system with more fairness and accessibility in mind.
Coun. Sam Waddington, who owns Mt. Waddington Outdoors, said his initial reaction is it’s a “step” in the right direction.
“It’s so heartening to see when people speak and the government listens, in a real way,” he said, “and I think that’s what we’re seeing here.”
The changes, which are the upshot of public feedback, will impact anyone looking to book a campsite in a provincial park for the 2017 season.
The reservation system at BC Parks definitely needed some changes, Waddington said, and they could go even further, such as expanding park on Crown land.
“But this points to good efforts to increase accessibility.”
The idea of changing the opening day, from three months in advance to four months in advance will get people booking earlier.
“Now that people will be able to book four months out instead of allowing one bulk booking. That will cut down on the opening day crunch and the resulting craziness,” said Waddington.
Beginning in 2017, the mid-March “opening day” for reservations will be eliminated and the three-month rolling reservation window will be extended. Reservations for the 2017 season can be made four months in advance of a campground’s first reservable date.
There are new measures to stop reselling, restrictions around altering arrival dates to cut ‘overbooking’ where coveted reservations, including long weekends, are unfairly secured. and implementing a pilot project in select parks to reduce the maximum length of stay to seven days during the peak camping season in order to provide more camping opportunities in provincial parks.