OTTAWA – Parks Canada is launching its campground reservation system in January – three months earlier than it did in 2015 – to give people more time to plan their summer vacations.
The reservation system covers almost 30 national parks and historic sites across the country.
About 20.6 million people visited Parks Canada sites this year by Sept. 30, up six per cent over the same period in 2014, the federal agency said.
Campground reservations jumped 27 per cent to over 210,000. Nova Scotia saw a 39 per cent climb, the biggest in the country.
Parks Canada attributed the boost in numbers partly to the lower Canadian dollar and lower gas prices, which encouraged Canadians to travel domestically. Promotional efforts and improvements to facilities were also factors.
On average, 79 per cent of visitors to Parks Canada-administered places are Canadian, 11 per cent are from the U.S. and the balance are from the rest of the world.
People from Germany, Britain, France and Australia are among the most common international visitors.
Campsites, roofed accommodation and guided hikes can be booked at http://www.reservation.parkscanada.gc.ca or by calling 1-877-RESERVE FREE.