News Release - October 29, 2013
SASKATCHEWAN PARKS SET NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD IN 2013
Saskatchewan Provincial Parks had another record year in 2013, breaking the 2012 visitation record by 3.3 per cent. Saskatchewan provincial parks had an estimated 3.7 million visits. This is a 21.6 per cent increase in visitation since 2007.
“It is great to see that we continue to have an increase in visitors to our parks,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said. “Our parks are an extraordinary asset to our quality of life and an important contributor to Saskatchewan’s economy. As our province continues to grow and prosper, our government will continue to look for ways to enhance our parks and improve on the experience for our visitors.”
The second year of the new online reservation service was a success. Reservations now account for 91 per cent of all nightly camping in the provincial park system. The system was implemented in response to strong visitor feedback that said campers wanted to know there would be a site waiting for them on arrival. With the online system, visitors are able to check campsite availability and make, change or cancel a camping reservation. They are also able to use the mobile website to stay connected with what is happening at the park. The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport continues to solicit feedback from visitors and to make improvements to the park visitor experience.
Camping reservations for the 2014 camping season will launch in early March. The exact date will be available on www.saskparks.net early in 2014.
Park visitors enjoyed a diverse range of park programs this past summer including geo-caching, astronomy, canoeing and hiking. The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport continues to make improvements and enhancements to public programming to ensure parks continue to provide high-quality visitor experiences.
The summer of 2013 marked another milestone for Saskatchewan’s provincial parks. The designation of Great Blue Heron Provincial Park established the 35th provincial park and the first new park in almost 20 years.
Government has invested $44 million over the last five years to improve Saskatchewan’s provincial parks, including more than $7 million on electrification of nearly 1,400 campsites since 2007. The government is dedicated to improving Saskatchewan’s provincial parks by investing an additional $10 million in park upgrades over four years over and above the previously-enhanced provincial parks capital budget to develop two new campgrounds, enhance shower and bathroom facilities, create more electrified sites and other infrastructure improvements.
For more information, contact: