While BC reservations accounted for 73% of all reservations this year, the government is touting what it calls, a “world-renowned provincial park system” as the key to rising numbers – arguing it attracts global attention.
The latest numbers show 159,000 camping reservations were made this year, an increase of more than 24,000 – or 19% over last year, and visitors from outside the province made up more than ¼ of the aforementioned record total.
The all-time record number continued a growing upward trend as the 2014 total represented a 13% increase from 2013.
The campgrounds received visitors from a dozen different countries, including the US, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Spain, France Australia and the United Kingdom.
Of the overseas visitors this year, nearly half, 46.5% of them, were from Germany, while Albertans formed the largest group of out-of-province Canadians at 14%.
Among the provinces, BC has the highest percentage of its land base – about 14.4% percent – dedicated to protected areas.
Including the largest provincial park system in the country, there are 1,029 protected areas in BC, and they cover more than 14 million hectares.
When combined, at more than 980,000 hectares, the North and South Tweedsmuir Parks in the Chilcotin, on the west side of the Fraser River, form the largest of the 830 provincial parks in BC.
However, it is Strathcona Park, situated almost in the centre of Vancouver Island, which has the honor of being the oldest provincial park in BC, officially legislated in 1911.
Mount Robson Park, bordering Jasper National Park was then established two years later in 1913, and by 1930 the number of BC provincial parks was up to 13.