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British Columbians crash Discover Camping website as portal opens for reservations

Last Updated May 25, 2020 at 11:39 am PDT

Summary

Many people were left frustrated as the Discover Camping website crashed under massive demand in B.C.

The Discover Camping portal went live at 7:00 a.m. Monday to allow British Columbians to reserve campsites

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With thousands of people waiting eagerly to snag a camping spot at one of the provincial parks open across B.C., many people have been left frustrated and out of luck.

It appears with demand high for the outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Discover Camping website, unsurprisingly, given the 11,000 cancellations confirmed by the province, crashed.

British Columbians have taken to social media to air their frustrations.

Many have likened the process of reserving a campsite to buying concert tickets or just shopping online during big sales.

“I had an easier time getting tickets to Madonna. Still trying,” one person writes, while another tweet reads, “I have had an easier time buying online on Black Friday,” accompanied by screenshots of an error page.

“It’s brutal. More stressful than any concert I’ve ever tried to get tickets for,” Vancouver resident Daina Lawrence says, adding she booked a group spot at a local park more than a year ago and was trying to replace that booking.

Others have called the whole ordeal an “epic failure,” with some giving up completely.


A reader tells NEWS 1130 they tried to book starting at 7:00 a.m. Monday, when the Discover Camping website went live, but were unsuccessful in securing a campsite close to an hour later.

Others, however, have been lucky.

“I relentlessly refreshed at every error and managed to get a reservation! Just got the confirmation email. Feel like I won the lottery!” Janelle tweets.


When asked about the Discover Camping website crashing Monday morning, BC Parks directed NEWS 1130 to a statement, which made no reference to the online failures across the system.

Meanwhile, speaking on BT Vancouver Monday morning, Environment Minister George Heyman said the province did everything it could to be prepared.

“We know demand’s high in B.C. and we just encourage people to keep going on the site. It’s going to settle down, we are going to be able to get people reservations,” he said.

Campsites have been closed since provincial parks restricted access in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.