NWT Parks says its staff “appreciate everyone’s patience with some of our opening challenges” after some campsites were sold more than once on the same dates using its online booking system.
As NWT residents enjoy the first long weekend of the camping season, several residents contacting Cabin Radio said they discovered campsites they booked for this summer had also been reserved by someone else for the same dates.
In one instance, a woman said she uncovered the problem “by sheer coincidence” when it came up in conversation.
Another resident said they had been told by NWT Parks staff that at least several dozen campsite double-bookings had been identified.
The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment, which operates NWT Parks, did not state how many bookings had been affected when asked – but did acknowledge the problem.
“Double bookings do happen with the number of registrations on the parks website, especially with the unprecedented volume this year during opening week,” said department spokesperson Jacqueline McKinnon by email.
“We work with all of the campers to find solutions and make sure everyone has a campsite. Parks staff and operators are committed to offering the best services and have been working very hard to have everything in place for this season, despite some of the campgrounds being compromised as a result of flooding.”
May bookings in some campgrounds were cancelled either due to flooding in the Dehcho or as the campsites were being used to accommodate evacuees from those disasters.
McKinnon said the bookings system was dealing with “record numbers,” including a 15-percent jump on last year’s traffic, which was already high.
“We are thrilled that residents are visiting the parks in droves for quick trips, overnight, or longer staycations – our parks are some of the best places to be in the NWT. We understand the difficulties everyone has faced this past year and appreciate everyone’s patience with some of our opening challenges,” she wrote.
NWT Parks changed its logo earlier this week, using the pandemic-related lull in tourist numbers to refresh its image.
“Our parks are cornerstones for our tourism industry and, when we eventually welcome visitors back to the NWT, our new logo will greet them with the possibility of adventure and opportunity in any direction,” the territory said in a news release.