Camping to cost more after province raises rates
The province says to maintain high service levels in B.C. provincial parks for an increasing number of visitors, it’s raising camping fees as of March 15, 2015.
“British Columbia’s world-renowned parks provide superb recreational opportunities for visitors from throughout the province and around the world. From diverse terrain to temperate climate, our parks are truly a unique treasure,” said Mary Polak, Minister of Environment in a media release.
“By increasing user fees in campgrounds, campers who use the parks system are helping to keep it sustainable for future generations to enjoy.”
Camping fees are just another increase for consumers.
In 2015 hydro rates increased as well as MSP premiums.
The release said this increase comes after years of investment delivering capital projects aimed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities and increasing attendance in provincial parks.
Over the past five years, BC Parks has invested approximately $60 million in park facilities, and has approximately $700 million of investment in infrastructure that requires maintenance.
Fee increases are nominal to ensure camping remains affordable for families and visitors enjoying B.C.’s world class parks system – one of the largest protected areas systems in the world.
While the fee schedule varies, the vast majority of provincial campsites will see a $2 per night increase, while others will see slightly larger increase in price, to a maximum of $5 per night. The last system-wide increase was in 2010.
The increase is expected to generate $1.3 million this year for B.C.’s protected areas system. All revenue from the increased fees will be put back into maintaining and enhancing the parks system.
There are no increases to fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters, or group camping.
Parking remains free in all provincial parks.
- All BC Parks user fees are inclusive of taxes, making it easier for families to plan and budget for their BC Parks visits.
User fees at BC Parks are generally lower than those of most private campsites in the province, and competitive with public sector campgrounds in other jurisdictions.
- For example: Camping at Cultus Lake Provincial Park will cost families $35/night for a campsite with up to four adults, whereas a nearby private operator charges $35-$45/night for a tenting site for two adults, with an additional $10 charge per adult.
- A private operator on Shuswap Lake will charge $30 – $60/night, and BC Parks charges $32/night for a campsite with up to four adults.
- There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas in B.C., covering more than 14 million hectares or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
- One of the largest park systems in the world, British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.
- B.C. provincial parks receive over 21 million visits each year.
- In 2014, more than 133,000 reservations were made through Discover Camping, the province’s camping reservation system, – almost a 10% increase from 2013.
- Discover Camping opens at 9 a.m. (PST) March 15, 2015. Prices reflected on the Discover Camping website will be updated prior to this date to incorporate the new fee structure.