Enthusiasm for the Northwest Territories’ campgrounds dipped slightly, year on year, in 2022’s opening week of online reservations.
Reservations made in the first week dropped from 3,763 in 2021 to 3,029 in 2022, the NWT’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment said on its website.
Possible explanations include NWT families looking to travel farther field after two summers in which pandemic-related travel restrictions largely kept people to so-called staycations. With options limited in 2020 and 2021, nearby campgrounds proved popular destinations.
This year’s campground numbers provide one of the first indicators of foreign enthusiasm for the NWT as pandemic restrictions ease.
A key question is whether, and how swiftly, the NWT’s United States and Asian tourism markets will rebound having had no access to the territory since March 2020.
Though campground visits are not necessarily priorities for those tourists, ITI said a quarter of visits to the campground reservations website in its first week came from beyond Canada – 23 percent from the United States and two percent from elsewhere.
“Ninety percent of total reservations made in the Beaufort Delta came from outside of the NWT,” the department stated.
“That compares to 48 percent for South Slave parks and 40 percent in the Dehcho. Only six percent of bookings in the North Slave came from outside of the NWT.”
North Slave parks received 2,371 bookings in the opening four days. The Fred Henne campground in Yellowknife received 750 bookings in the first 23 minutes after the system opened, ITI said.