Ontario Parks is vowing to crack down on anyone reselling campsite reservations, after outcry from campers frustrated by the online booking system.
According to an email sent to Ontario Parks reservation holders, as of Saturday, reselling sites for profit will not be permitted.
The email states, "If we become aware that anyone has attempted to sell a reservation for profit, for example, if they have listed a reservation on social media or buy-and-sell websites for re-sale for profit, the reservation may be cancelled and all applicable penalty fees will apply."
As more people are opting to explore their own backyard this year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the demand for campsites has increased significantly.
Jan. 1 to April 3, Jan. 1 to April 3, 323,910 reservations were made with Ontario Parks. An increase of 145 per cent over the same timeframe in 2020 when 131,929 reservations were made.
While camping is not permitted under the current provincial shutdown restrictions, Ontario parks are accepting reservations for later in the season.
Currently, reservations for campsites can be made with Ontario Parks starting after May 20 and beyond. Ontario Parks will not be restricting visitors by origin.
Provincial parks will remain open for local, day-use activities and Ontario Parks is also offering free day-use visits Monday to Thursday from May 1 to Sept. 2.