BC ministry responsible for provincial campgrounds apologizes after error in BC Parks’ online reservation system allowed 800 reservations for campers who only wanted to stay part of a long weekend, contrary to its own policy.
Provincial policy regarding long weekend camping reservations requires visitors to book for a minimum of three days.
However, the error in BC Parks’ system, which allowed some people to partially book the long weekend, resulted in frustration for people trying to book other unreserved dates during the same. period.
Residents of British Columbia can reserve campsites in provincial parks two months prior to their arrival date.
Dustin Brisebois, 42, lives in New Westminster and wanted to take his family camping over the August long weekend in Parksville or near Squamish, but he was unable to make a reservation on the BC Parks website.
“We noticed that there were a number of spaces available to reserve,” said Brisebois, who was looking forward to spending time outdoors after spending months under COVID-19 restrictions.
His hopes were shattered seconds later.
“[I] could not seize the free places that were available. The system was just making a mistake, not providing an explanation of what was going on, and it almost seemed like there was a problem with the server, the site itself, ”explained Brisebois.
People have taken to social media to post their frustrations with the system.
Day 2 no solution, no communication. When ##BCParks is he going to fix the reservation system? Single night stays on Fridays block the entire August long weekend. Unused campsites are bad for everyone @GeorgeHeyman @BCParks #discovercamping @CampandRVinBC
Ministry says sorry
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change strategy explained that around 800 bookings were made last week, allowing partial stays during the busy August long weekend, which is contrary to its own policy.
“We apologize for this error and for any inconvenience it has caused. BC Parks is committed to ensuring that system errors like this are promptly corrected and mitigated wherever possible,” said the ministry in a press release.
This problem has now been corrected, but the ministry says all bookings will be honored.
Brisebois is still looking for a campsite.
“Potentially, campsites are half empty for a long weekend if half of the users don’t stay the whole weekend because they started too early,” said Brisebois.
The Department of Environment and Climate Change strategy warns people that “due to the overwhelming desire of British Columbians to go out camping, BC Parks does not anticipate booking availability for the August long weekend for the moment “.