British Columbians love their provincial park system, and the statistics prove it: a record number of people made reservations for campsites, day-use passes, backcountry permits, cabins, and picnic shelters in provincial parks this season.
More than 317,000 reservations were made on the new BC Parks reservation service for the 2022 season, which is an increase of 26.5 per cent since 2019.
The new service, which launched in March 2022, is part of a broader, ongoing redesign of BC Parks’ digital services to improve visitors’ experiences from computer to campground.
Designed with input from campers, park operators, and other service organizations, the new reservation service includes more flexible search options, such as a map to find campgrounds by region, an interactive calendar that shows when booked sites will become available, saved booking preferences within customer accounts, information on nearby facilities, and large photos of campsites.
“The new and improved reservation service is more reliable and easy-to-use, which is reflected in the record number of reservations,” says George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We listened to people’s suggestions and frustrations, and worked hard to address these with our new system.
“We’ll continue to listen and respond to public feedback to ensure people can easily book and access the thousands of great camping opportunities available throughout our province.”
More information about the accessibility of sites has been integrated into the new reservation service and at https://bcparks.ca/accessibility/. The website provides descriptions and photos about accessible facilities and infrastructure — such as parking, pathways, and campsites — to help people choose the park that best meets their needs.
“It has been another exceptionally busy season for BC Parks as more people discover and enjoy the health benefits of being in nature,” says Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “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.”
BC Parks is investing $21.5 million to expand and enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, including adding new campsites and trails and upgrading facilities. Since 2017, more than 1,700 campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites in high-demand areas.
BC Parks has more than 10,000 reservable day-use and overnight accommodations available, from picnic shelters and campsites to backcountry cabins and even a yurt. Demand for reservations has grown by more than 200 per cent in the past decade.
For more information about BC Parks, visit https://bcparks.ca/.