Campers have reported an unusual number of reserved campsites that are unoccupied in B.C. Parks this summer, a report said.
A spokesperson for COVID-19 said that travel restrictions are a critical factor in that, as well as the dangers of wildfires and smoke advisory.
Some Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. members have reported many reserved sites that weren’t used in parks throughout the province, Louise Pedersen, executive director of the council, said.
Campers are soliciting adjustments to B.C. Parks‘ reservation process to ensure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the outdoors.
Locals have stated that 10 to 15 percent of the Golden Ears Provincial Park sites near Maple Ridge are not used. The campsites are available only by the B.C. Parks reservation system.
The group is urging the province to streamline cancellation procedures and offer more sites on a first-come, first-served basis so that there’s less fuss when reservations are open to people who want to reserve spots that they might not be able to access.
Park operators said that cancellations are usually immediately followed by re-bookings.
“Many of us are not able to plan our vacations two months in advance because we do shift work or we have changing work schedules, or maybe we’re just not that good at planning,” Pedersen said.
The ministry of the environment that oversees parks said that the statistics aren’t yet available for the current camping season; however, it appears that there’s an increase in no-shows and last-minute cancellations.