B.C.'s online camping reservation system revamped

Campers hoping to stay at B.C. parks will find a revamped online reservation system with new features on the Discover Camping website.

Campers who can't get a reservation for a favourite site because someone beat them to it, for example, can choose to be notified if that campsite becomes available at a specific time.

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If your first-choice campground is fully booked, new online search features will help you find available campsites in nearby parks.

You can also sign up for B.C. Parks information such as newsletters and event notices.

More features will be added in stages, a statement from B.C. Parks said Wednesday, including the option of buying items such as firewood, ice and park-related merchandise ahead of time.

The website will also allow users to buy and send e-gift cards to use on the website.

B.C. hired US eDirect to beef up the online reservation system. The company supplies reservation systems for governments in places including California, Missouri and New Zealand, the statement said.

Reservation fees are not changing.

About 55 per cent of the approximate 10,700 campsites in B.C. parks can be reserved. The rest are available on a first-come, first served basis.

B.C. hit a record this year, with more than 253,000 reservations made through Discover Camping. Most bookings come from within B.C.

Last year, close to 231,000 reservations were made.

B.C. is home to 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas. They cover more than 14 million hectares.

- To book a B.C. Parks campsite: discovercamping.ca

- For more information on the new reservation system: bcparks.ca/reserve

- For more information about B.C. Parks: env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks

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