province – Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba is launching a new online parks campsite reservation system to replace an older platform that was plagued by technical glitches and complaints from frustrated campers.
The province has hired Camis Inc. of Guelph, Ont., to handle bookings for yurts, cabins and nightly campsites.
The government promised customers will have a smoother experience when the system goes live March 27 for new account creations, a week before the first day of staggered bookings.
SHANNON VANRAES / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES
Manitoba is launching a new online parks campsite reservation system.
“The public should be able to see a marked improvement in the look and feel of the system, and how it responds,” said Elisabeth Ostrop, Manitoba Parks’s manager of recreation and education services.
Camis, which was recently awarded a contract by Parks Canada, will receive a fee per transaction.
Ostrop said the system will use newer software and work better on mobile devices, although the overall experience depends on a user’s device and internet connection.
Campers will have to create a new account, as the current ones will not migrate to the new system.
It has replaced an in-house system that was developed in 2005 and would crash when a high volume of devices tried to log in at the same time on opening days.
In past years, some campers were disappointed after yurts or other preferred sites were snapped up while they waited in long virtual queues.
Different companies handled the previous service’s information technology and maintenance, said Ostrop.
The previous system also charged a fee per transaction.
Last year, the province tweaked the system and staggered bookings to try to cope with demand, while promising to introduce a new service in 2023.
This year’s opening days will be staggered over six days, starting April 3, when all cabins, yurts and group-use areas will be available for…