Manitobans hoping to book a campsite might find the process a little easier this year.
The province announced it is adding a few short-term improvements to its online reservation page while continuing to implement a new system with the aim to have it operational by 2023.
“Manitoba is home to 92 provincial parks, where every year Manitobans and visitors come to enjoy the spectacular beauty our province has to offer,” said Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton.
“Our government understands that having easily accessible operations of the parks reservation service is part of the experience and we have implemented short-term changes to help improve this year’s bookings. We want to thank visitors for their patience as we work diligently on implementing a new reservation system for future seasons.”
Upgrades have been made for system performance to enhance stability, improve the queue and lower the chance of falling out of line.
Despite these changes, the province says individuals might continue to experience system delays or wait times.
Bookings are scheduled to open on April 4th.
RV owner Jonathan Millions says he’s skeptical about the website’s optimization.
“Well, last year was definitely the most challenging of just trying to get on and be able to book in the first place,” he says.
“Me and my partner, we had our phone out (and) our computers going as one of the computers got kicked out, so luckily we had a second one as back up and we were able to get some of the spots we wanted, but not all of them.
“This year, hopefully it’ll be a little bit better.”
Millions encourages others to have an open mind when booking campsites this year.
“If things are going to be like they were last year, where everyone’s booking and you’re not going to get what you want, if you’re open to trying something new, you might end up finding something that you like.”
Vice President of the Manitoba Association of Campgrounds and Parks Dan Manaigre says his park and many others are bursting at the seams.
“The campgrounds are expanding,” he says. “A lot of parks are adding more sites. I think … camping is going to continue to grow.”
Manaigre says people might be surprised to find available private camping spaces after striking out on government sites.
“If you can’t get to your favorite provincial campground by all means, check out the private campground website,” he says.
“I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised of what’s available.”
-with files from Michelle Karlenzig