Salmon Arm tour company accused of booking large swaths of provincial campsites for foreign tourists.
Even mid-week during the summer is a busy time for many provincial parks in BC.
Parks like Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville are full seven days a week all summer.
It is one of the hardest campgrounds to get into as the sites are booked three months ago to the day, every day.
It makes last minute camping plans next to impossible for many people.
“For people who haven’t planned ahead and you just want to stop in at a provincial park on your travels, it’s a little difficult under the current system” said Merv Swanson who was camping at Miracle Beach Provincial Park in Merville Wednesday.
NDP North Island MLA Claire Trevena says it has turned a difficult task of booking a campsite into a near impossible one for many people.
“Most people are hearing about this for the first time. What people find is they can not get a campsite and they get extremely frustrated. The fact that it is because companies are block booking campsites is very troubling for people” said Trevena.
Green Party MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head Andrew Weaver says the answer is better enforcement
“If I book a campground with my BC drivers licence I should be showing that licence when I pull into the campground. I should not have a third party being able to book a campground and then me go and stay in that campground” Weaver told CHEK News.
The BC government says British Columbians account for three quarters of all reservations and that tour operators are not allowed to block book.
“The biggest challenge is that there are fewer than 6000 reservable campsites in BC so it is a matter of expanding the space we have” said Minister of Environment Mary Polak.
The BC reservation system has been in place for the past 20 years.