Manitoba sees spike in campground bookings

Sunset in Whiteshell Provincial Park. Photo by Dana Cavanagh.

Manitoba is seeing a spike in campground reservations this year.

On Wednesday, the province opened up bookings for Winnipeg Beach and Whiteshell Provincial Park, and on Monday it opened up cabins, yurts and group-use areas at Birds Hill Provincial Park.

According to a provincial spokesperson, by 10:45 a.m. the province surpassed last year’s equivalent day total for Winnipeg Beach and Whiteshell.

The province said by 4 p.m. on Wednesday it had made 22,846 campground reservations, which is 10,411 more reservations than at the same time in 2020.

On both Monday and Wednesday, people took to social media to report long wait times and issues with the booking system.

I had #14865 and finally got in after 3 hours. Absolutely nothing left for what I was looking for. What an absolute disappointment...

— Phil Leclerc (@evilphilsie) April 7, 2021

It shouldnt really matter if one person tries to log in from multiple devices at one time...system should be able to accommodate this kind scenario, especially when it's expected to see a huge influx in reservation attempts.this needs fixing

— raPAOnzel��⚡️���� (@MarauderMe) April 7, 2021

The province noted that during the online rush for reservations on Monday it encountered a technical issue. However, it said this issue was quickly resolved and processing returned to normal.

Manitoba said Wednesday’s launch for campground reservations went well, but there was a significant increase in call volumes, so people had to wait for their turn.

This year Manitoba Parks has staggered its reservations dates to make it easier for people to book their camping trips. The next reservation launch date is on Monday, April 12, when bookings will open for all of the remaining parks.

Manitoba Parks recommends that throughout the camping season, people check the campsite vacancy page for any upcoming availabilities. It said the best days to look for upcoming cancellations and openings are Mondays and Tuesdays.