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After complaints, BC gov't tweaks camping reservation protocols

Last Updated Nov 7, 2016 at 12:20 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

Three-month window to reserve a site is being extended

The BC Liberals are making changes following a spike in complaints of 'overbooking' last season

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Things will certainly be different when you reserve a campsite in BC next year. The Ministry of Environment is adjusting the process because a bunch of complaints last year.

Beginning in January, the three-month rolling window to reserve will be extended to four months. The province is also getting rid of the official opening day, which means you can reserve your site four months in advance, regardless of when you are planning to go.

The ministry is also limiting the length of stay to one week for the most popular and sought-after sites.

“Other changes include new measures to prevent the reselling of reservations, restrictions around altering arrival dates to prevent the practice of ‘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,” the government says in a statement.

There are roughly 10,700 campsites managed by BC Parks across the province and the government says about 55 per cent of them are reservable while the other 45 per cent is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We want to make sure the campsite reservation service is doing its job as effectively and efficiently as possible. We know British Columbians want a reservation system that is fair, and that they have just as good a chance of securing a campsite as the next person. The changes we’re
bringing in for 2017 address policies that are prone to abuse by a small number of people and contribute to positive camping experiences in our beautiful BC Parks,” says Environment Minister Mary Polak.

The BC Liberals say 2016 was another record year with more than 185,000 reservations booked by mid-September.