Parks Canada's website struggled to keep up with record-setting reservations

Jan 8 2020, 3:37 pm

Park’s Canada just had a record-breaking day, but that may be little solace to the would-be campers who faced difficulties on the organization’s website this morning.

According to a release from Parks Canada, reservations for campsites in Banff National Park opened at 8 am MST Wednesday morning, prompting over 35,000 website connection attempts at that time.

The high volume of site traffic caused the site to slow down, resulting in visitors being unable to complete their reservations or to even add campsites into their shopping carts.

Many Canadians expressed their frustration on Twitter:

The Parks Canada release addressed the issue, stating that their “reservation service provider immediately took steps to manage the system and to improve the site performance. However, this meant that some users lost reservations already in their shopping cart or they received a ‘website is unavailable’ message.”

According to the release, the user experience began improving around 10:30 MST, with over 10,000 transactions going through by 10:45 am.

It was also noted that the difficulty was the same for all users attempting to secure a campsite, “regardless of their internet speed or geographic location, and everyone maintained an equal access to campsites.”

Many users were calling for Parks Canada to update their website to ensure that similar difficulties were not repeated on future high-volume days, though the release only stated that “Parks Canada continuously strives to create a better experience for visitors and help to ensure that all online users have a chance at securing a reservation.”

The silver lining? Canadians just set a record for the most camping reservations made in one day in Parks Canada history, with over 20,000 sites being reserved by 2 pm MST.