This year's summer vacations have yet to begin, but reservations for chalets and yurts at Quebec's provincial parks are already booking up for next year.
Quebec's provincial parks agency, the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ) opened reservations Saturday for bookings for summer 2023, for more than 700 chalets across the province. The bookings are currently open to residents of Quebec only.
Provincial parks have seen increased demand over the past two years, as the pandemic has kept more Quebecers vacationing closer to home, said SEPAQ spokesperson Simon Boivin.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the outdoor reservations have been so popular. People took the habit to reserve early," said Boivin, in an interview with Sabrina Marandola on Let's Go.
"As we say, early birds get the worm, so when you want something very specific, you better reserve early."
Even parks located further from Montreal have been receiving more visitors than usual. Parc national d'Aiguebelle in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, for example, saw the number of visitors increase 45 per cent last year, compared to 2020.
Reservations for the most in-demand parks, including Aiguebelle, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière Malbaie, Mont-Orford and Mont-Tremblant open at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Visitors who wish to book a chalet for next year can access the virtual waiting room on the SEPAQ website, before being assigned a place in line.
As for this summer, Boivin said there are still some spots available for tent sites, but it's harder to find available cabins or "ready-to-camp" sites — fully-equipped canvas tents on wooden platforms.
Fees will remain the same for this summer, Boivin said, but will likely increase in 2023 due to inflation.