New upgrades will make B.C. campsite reservation more fair: government

Province attempts to address complaints of over-booking, re-selling of reservations

Golden Ears Provincial Campground.

The B.C. government hopes new changes will make opening day reservation madness a thing of the past for the 2017 camping season.

In January, the province will eliminate an opening day for reservations to avoid the delays and crashes in the online Discover Camping booking system. Instead, you will be able to book your campsite four months ahead of your desired date to camp.

“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,” said Minister of Environment Mary Polak in a news release Monday.

The changes are in response to a record-breaking camping season last summer, where sites were booked up far in advance and many people were left out. Others complained that people were snapping up campsites and re-selling the reservations for profit. Forty-six such incidents were reported to B.C. Parks last year.

The government says it’s cracking down on reservation scalpers. Under the new regulations, when a campsite is reserved, the guests will have to provide one or two permit holder names, and at least one permit holder will have to be on site, with identification, throughout the stay.

The province is also launching a pilot project to shorten the maximum number of nights you’re allowed to stay in five popular campgrounds during peak season. They are Martha Creek near Revelstoke, Mount Fernie, Porteau Cove near Vancouver, Loveland Bay near Campbell River and Ellison near Vernon.

More than 185,000 reservations were made last summer, with close to three-quarters coming from B.C. residents. The next highest shares are from Alberta at 14 per cent, the U.S. at 3.6 per cent, the rest of Canada at 2.8 per cent, and all European countries combined are 6.6 per cent of the total.

Just over half of the approximately 10,700 provincial campsites in B.C. can be reserved in advance.

Just Posted

Ballenas students launch fundraiser for U.S. travel to promote science experiment

Students’ experiment headed for International Space Station

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

RDN dealing with high interest in backyard cannabis production

New policy proposed to address challenges with Health Canada licences

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Nanaimo Clippers say former CEO overcharged, took liquor sales money

Ownership group of B.C. Hockey League team files lawsuit in Supreme Court

Most Read