If you have a favourite campsite on a favourite date, it may be worthwhile to reserve it before someone else does. The fun starts at 7am PST on March 15 (Thursday). Note some of the changes to the reservation system as well — regarding long weekends and popular locales. From today’s Discover Camping email to subscribers:
Message to Discover Camping Users:
As a reminder to all campers who want to ensure they get their favourite campsites on their preferred dates, front-country reservations open at 7:00 am (PST) on March 15, 2012.
New Changes to the Discover Camping Reservation Service for 2012
BC Parks works with our Park Facility Operators, our clients and our reservation service provider to ensure we are offering the best service possible to our customers. We are proud to announce the following enhancements to the Discover Camping reservation service for the 2012 season.
1.Multiple reservations in one transaction
Previously, customers were limited to making one reservation at a time. Now up to three (3) reservations can be made per transaction. Reservation fees apply for each reservation and will appear as separate items on the credit card statement.
- Allows customers to book multiple sites for themselves or others
- Can book at multiple parks at different times
- Allows customers to create their own ‘split’ reservations
2. More equitable access to the most popular reservations (premium site and/or busy weekends)
New Policy: Reservations cannot be changed or cancelled earlier than two and half months prior to the requested arrival date.
- Rationale: provides more equitable access to premium campsites during popular time slots (prevents reservation customers from “rolling” reservations into long-weekends by paying change fees)
- This policy will only affect reservations that are made more than 75 days prior to the arrival date
- The restriction is based on the date the reservation was made (not on the arrival date). For example, a reservation made on April 2nd to arrive on July 2nd cannot be changed or cancelled until April 17th. But a reservation made on May 2nd to arrive on July 2nd can be changed or cancelled immediately (because the arrival date is less than two and a half months in the future)
- Customers will be notified of the earliest change or cancellation date when they make their booking (prior to paying)
3. Reminder emails:
As a courtesy to our customers, reservation holders who provide and email address and book more than 4 weeks in advance of their arrival date for front-country reservations will receive a reminder email at least 10 days prior to any change or cancellation penalties taking effect. The email will contain:
- Reminder of date and park
- Check-in procedure reminder
- Change, Cancellation and No-show policy
- List of relevant events and emergency messages at the park
- Contact information
4. Online refund request process
While BC Parks ensure that customers are aware that transaction fees are on-refundable and that changes closer to the arrival date incur penalties, we also understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. For exceptional situations, BC Parks will consider certain refund requests through the BC Parks website. This will help BC Parks better assess the refund requests by:
- Standardizing information
- Providing a consistency for refund requests
(Please note, this process is for extenuating circumstances only and most refund requests should still be dealt with in the park with the appropriate Park Facility Operator).
5. Availability Information for First-Come, First-Served sites redesigned
For customers without a reservation, the information about availability of “First-Come, First-Served” (FCFS) campsites has been redesigned. Park Facility Operators will use real data to update the availability of the FCFS sites. While BC Parks cannot guarantee the availability of these sites, the information has been redesigned to better communicate the likelihood of showing up on a given day and getting a campsite.
- FCFS availability shown to customer in calendar view
- Availability is park-based, not campground specific
This information and other updates can be found on BC Parks’ website: www.bcparks.ca