It is the start of camping season in the Okanagan (British Columbia, Canada).
As per a report, Graham Todd, owner of Todd’s RV and Camping in Peachland, says the May long weekend is one of, if not the busiest weekends of the year.
“First time out for a lot of people… particularly this year even more anxious because they’ve been sort of tied back a little bit,” he said. “I think this weekend is going to shape up quite nice, and we’ll be at almost maximum [capacity] for the weekend.”
Todd says that the pandemic hasn’t had a significant impact on campsites. However, the current season has brought on the return of international travel, which is a significant customer for B.C. campsites.
“It’s a mix. All the way from Edmonton, Calgary. Lots of locals because it’s a short drive,” said Todd. “The European market, the world market is back this year which is really fantastic, they generally make up about 27% of our customers throughout the season, which is really going to help out this year.”
Veteran camper Jack Dubberley, who’s been going to Todd’s RV and Camping since the age of two, decided to avoid the crowds on weekends and arrive earlier.
“It’s great, we’re basically semi-retired. We can get out a day ahead and come up here to get some last-minute camping and go see the car show on Sunday. Then we’ll wait for all the traffic to go back Monday, and we’ll go back on Tuesday,” Dubberley said.
This could be one of the last full seasons for Todd’s RV and Camping since the Peachland council is discussing a possible development at the property, which has been up for sale for years.
Campsites across B.C. are almost or are fully booked for the weekend, and BC Parks says they’ve had more than 100,000 reservations since late March.
“The camping and hiking season is here, and people from throughout our province want to get outside and connect with nature,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“It’s important that people book ahead on the new BC Parks website and check online before heading out to ensure they know the latest conditions in order to have the best outdoor experience possible. While the majority of parks are open to enjoy, some remain closed for repairs following the unprecedented extreme weather events last year, which makes it more important than ever to plan ahead.”
While most provincial parks remain open, a few remain temporarily closed because of last year’s extreme weather.
“Some of our parks were hit hard by last year’s extreme weather, and people should ensure they have the latest information before they head out to enjoy B.C. ‘s spectacular natural ecosystems,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment.
“We have been working diligently to restore as many parks and facilities as possible, so they are safe for people to visit and enjoy.”
As per BC Parks, they’ll be investing CA$21.5 million in the next three years to expand and enhance outdoor recreation, which includes the creation of new campsites as well as trails.
This story originally appeared on Castanet.