Camping reservations in BC Parks are up almost 10 per cent compared to last year, which is good news for the provincial economy as British Columbians and visitors from out of province head out to our parks going into the BC Day long weekend, said Environment Minister Barry Penner.
"BC Parks offer a tremendous value for people of all ages who want to get outdoors and experience our great parks system," said Penner. "Since we launched the new and improved Discover Camping reservation service last April, people have noticed the improvements. The increased visits to our provincial parks help boost local economies across the province."
To date, BC Parks has taken 73,500 reservations, an increase of almost 10 per cent from last year at this time. All but nine campgrounds in the province have sold out of reservations for the upcoming long weekend, but many still have first-come, first-served sites available.
The new reservation service allows campers to book double sites in a single reservation to guarantee that families or friends can camp together, and is more user-friendly, with a step- by-step process on an easy-to-use website.
Also, with this new service, four additional parks are available for reservations, raising the total number of reservable parks from 68 to 72. This is one of the improvements being made as the "Parks 100" celebration approaches, marking the 100th birthday of BC Parks in 2011.
The Discover Camping telephone number and web address stay the same. Visit https://secure.camis.com/Discovercamping/
or call 1 800 689-9025 to make campsite reservations. Overseas callers may call 519 826-6850.
Since 2001, the B.C. government has established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas and expanded more than 60 parks and six ecological reserves - protecting over 1.9 million hectares of additional land.
Over the past five years, B.C. has invested approximately $107 million to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland. Today in B.C., 13.5 million hectares or 14.27 per cent of the land base is protected, more than any other Canadian jurisdiction.
BC Parks will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 1, 2011. Leading up to the milestone date, a new Parks 100 initiative will be engaging communities, First Nations, youth and the arts, heritage and tourism sectors in events, competitions and conservation projects across the province. Parks 100 activities aim to promote accessible parks, healthy and green living, and strengthen shared stewardship of B.C.'s natural and cultural resources. To find out more about Parks 100, go to: www.bcparks100.ca