Campers frustrated despite changes to Manitoba’s online reservation system – Winnipeg

This year, Manitoba has spaced out the campsites available for reservation in hopes of preventing the system from becoming overwhelmed.

Despite these changes, many Manitobans were frustrated Wednesday morning with the process, including Cheryl Mowat.

“Bookings over the past five years have been horrible, but bookings over the past three years have been really bad,” Mowat told Global News.

She has been camping in Manitoba for almost 20 years.

“Before doing it (reservation) in 20 minutes or a half max, now more. Now you look, like I said, last year it was five (hours), this year it was two (hours).

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Last year, she also resorted to reserving a few pitches at a private campground to ease the stress of using the provincial system. Now she is looking at other options.

“My husband was like, ‘Well, if we can’t get in here, we might have to go camping in the States,'” she said. “You shouldn’t have to leave the province if you want to camp.

The same frustration is felt by Mike Witkowicz who has been camping in Manitoba for seven years.

“It’s not something I look forward to every year, it’s an activity I dread,” he said.

This year, he decided to use both a mobile phone and a laptop to log into the reservation system and secure a seat.

“Ultimately, yes, it was better, but there’s a big caveat to that – I had two browsers going.”

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It’s an insurance strategy he decided to use after he was kicked out of the online system last year.

“There are more devices coming to their server, but I don’t know what else to do.”

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The Manitoba government says the overwhelming number of users contributes to system problems.

“Five years ago, people didn’t have as many mobile devices and computers available to them in their homes,” says Elisabeth Ostrop, Manager of Recreation and Education Services at Manitoba Parks.

As of 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Ostrop says there was no longer a queue for online reservations, a major difference from last year, when the queue disappeared at 3 p.m.

“We have made several technical improvements and adjustments. People may have noticed that once in the app it was very responsive, they could do their research quickly and they could add sites to their cart faster than last year,” she says.

A complete overhaul of the reservation system is expected in 2023, a task that Ostrop says is no small feat.

“Reservations are for five days, it’s part of the application. This is our entire campground inventory management system. »

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