The Province of Manitoba is making changes to its campground reservation system to prevent the lengthy waiting times for booking online. However, an advocacy group believes that the solution to the high demand is not tweaking the booking system but creating more spaces.
Eric Reder, the wilderness and water campaign director for the Wilderness Committee‘s Manitoba branch, believes the announced changes on Friday are long overdue, as per a report.
“The big problem isn’t the registration system. That is a major problem, but the biggest problem is that we don’t have enough parks. So the answer to the park reservation problem in Manitoba is to grow parks. It’s as simple as that.”
Reder thinks British Columbia sets an example of what could be accomplished. In 2021, B.C. put $83 million into the B.C. Parks budget over three years to meet the demand for camping sites.
“No matter how they change the park system … there are going to be Manitobans unhappy that they weren’t able to go and experience the nature and wilderness that we have because we don’t have enough space for them,” Reder said.
The updates to the online reservation system were announced in a press release on Friday.
The upgrades “will help manage the load on an opening day for reservations, ease the booking process for campers and provide more opportunities to book camping facilities in high demand and limited inventory, such as cabins and yurts,” Conservation Minister Sarah Guillemard said in the release.
In addition, those looking to book a yurt or cabin will be able to make two reservations at one time this year instead of three.
There will be five varying opening reservation days instead of three for different kinds of parks and accommodations to prevent the system from going down due to high demand.
Additionally, there will be improvements to computer servers this year, Guillemard added.
The government wants to have completely new software by 2023, she stated.