Lack of Campsite Availability A Barrier for Alberta, B.C. Campers

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For more than half of British Columbia (51%) and Alberta (48%) residents, a lack of campsite availability in British Columbia will likely decrease their likelihood of camping in the Canadian province this year and the next, according to the recent BC Camping Industry Benchmarking Report of the Google Consumer Survey.

Other barriers include difficulty booking a campsite online, limited camping options in the desired location, the cost to camp, and strict cancellation policy of campgrounds.

The online survey was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022 to collect the camping and RVing habits of B.C. and Alberta residents in the past two years (2019 and 2020) and the coming two years (2021 and 2022).

On the bright side, the survey—which was a collaborative effort among Destination British Columbia, Google, Align Consulting Group, and the Camping and RV BC Coalition—found that there was significant growth in lifetime camping in 2019 and 2020, with 63% of British Columbians and 76% Albertans saying they have experienced camping/RVing in their life.

In addition, camping in British Columbia saw a spike in all seasons except spring, showing a continued potential to attract campers to/in the Canadian province in spring, summer, and fall.

“Continued shoulder and winter season marketing is recommended,” the study noted. About a third of B.C. residents who camped had camped in shoulder seasons (28% in spring and 37% in the fall). 

Tent camping continues to be popular among B.C. residents. Of those who camped in 2019 and 2020, 51% said they used a tent/tent trailer. This is followed by trailer/fifth-wheel/truck camper (28%), and motorhome/camper van (11%). Glamping has also been added to equipment categories this year, with 14% of campers sharing that they stayed in a Glamping unit/cabin or


This year and in 2023, about 1,974,913 campers from British Columbia (54%) and Alberta (46%) are likely to camp or RV in B.C., per the survey. This equals 987,457 annually.

The Camping and RVing BC Coalition is a non-profit marketing collective created to raise awareness of camping and recreational vehicle (RV) experiences across British Columbia. One of its members is the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA), a non-profit trade organization representing hundreds of privately owned and managed campgrounds, RV parks, and lodging throughout British Columbia.

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