New features are coming to the Discover Camping reservation system that will enhance the booking experience when reserving a campsite in BC Parks.
Additional features for the reservation system include:
- notifications if previously booked sites become available at a certain park during a specific time;
- advanced search and availability display features that show availability in nearby parks if the first choice is full;
- an option to sign up for additional BC Parks information, such as newsletters and event notices;
- add-on features to a reservation, such as firewood, ice and park related merchandise; and
- an option to purchase and send e-gift cards to family and friends for use on the Discover Camping system.
US eDirect has been selected as the new Discover Camping vendor. It comes with more than 20 years of experience providing reservation platforms for government park agencies, such as California State Parks, Missouri State Parks and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
Earlier this year, BC Parks launched a formal procurement process for a vendor that could provide an enhanced Discover Camping reservation system. The vendor contract for the current Discover Camping service expires at the end of November.
Discover Camping is a user-pay system and the transaction fees ensure it is not subsidized by taxpayers. Fees remain at 1996 pricing levels and will not increase for the new system.
Last year, BC Parks had another record-breaking year, with nearly 231,000 reservations made through Discover Camping — a 9% growth from the 212,000 made in 2017. So far this year, there have been more than 155,000 reservations made through the service — a 15% increase over the same time last year. The majority of reservations originate from within B.C.
The new reservation system will still be accessible through the discovercamping.ca website and is expected to be fully implemented during the first week of December. Prior to the launch, there will be a minimal 48-hour interruption in the service to accommodate the transition between the systems. Some of the new features will be added in stages once the new system is launched.