British Columbia is coming off a record-breaking camping season as online reservations become more popular than ever.
Upwards of 317,000 reservations were made on the new BC Parks reservation service this year — an increase of 26.5 per cent since 2019, the province said in a Tuesday news release.
Reservations included campsites, day-use passes, backcountry permits and more, and came as BC Parks’ online service, camping.bcparks.ca, launched in March as part of a broader, ongoing redesign to improve the visitor experience.
“The new and improved reservation service is more reliable and easy to use, which is reflected in the record number of reservations,” said Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.
The province says BC Parks manages around 10,700 campsites and has more than 10,000 reservable day-use and overnight accommodations available, with reservations up 200 per cent in the past decade.
Parliamentary Secretary for Environment Kelly Greene says it’s been another “exceptionally busy” camping season, with more people discovering and enjoying the health benefits of being in nature.
“We are working hard to create more camping opportunities in B.C. and improve accessibility so more people can experience the joy of exploring B.C.’s parks,” added Greene.
BC Parks is investing $21.5 million to expand and enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, including adding new campsites and trails and upgrading facilities, the province noted in its release.
In fact, it says more than 1,700 campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites in high-demand areas since 2017, including 500 sites in Lower Mainland parks.