Changes are coming to the BC Parks campsite reservation system. (Black Press file photo)

New features of B.C.’s Discover Camping reservation system set to launch this winter

Ministry of Environment says fees won’t increase

Changes are coming to the Discover Camping reservation system. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says the alterations will make the campsite booking experience better.

New features include notifications if sites that were already booked become available, as well as advanced search and campsite availability display features that will help users find available sites nearby if their desired park is full. There will be options for purchasing firewood, ice, and e-gift cards for the Discover Camping system. Users will also be able to sign up for newsletters and other notices. The new features won’t all be added at the launch of the new system, but introduced in stages.

READ ALSO: 600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

The fees will not increase with the new system, but continue to reflect the 1996 pricing levels, the ministry said in a statement. Camping enthusiasts will be able to access the new reservation system online at the existing discovercamping.ca. The new reservation system can be expected to be operational at the beginning of December. The site will experience a 48-hour hiatus while the new system is implemented.

In early 2019, BC Parks began formally searching for a company that could enhance the current reservation system. Their contract with the current provider is set to expire in November of this year.

READ ALSO: B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

US eDirect was chosen and tasked with making the upgrades to Discover Camping. For 20 years, the company has created many reservation platforms for government park agencies, including the California State Parks.

Last year, approximately 231,000 reservations were made through the Discover Camping website — nine per cent more than in 2017. This year, 155,000 reservations have already been made, the majority of which were made by folks in B.C.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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