Chapter 3. Accommodation

3.2 Camping and RV Accommodation

Several tents are set up around a fire on the edge of a beach at dusk.
Figure 3.10 A group of campers enjoy the sky at dusk from their tents.

A significant portion of travel accommodation is also provided in campgrounds and recreational vehicles (RVs). As the Canadian and BC tourism brands are closely tied to the outdoors, and these are two options that immerse travellers in the outdoor experience, it is no surprise that these two types of accommodation are popular options.

In 2017, 2.1 million Canadian RV owners took an estimated 8.2 million trips by RV.  Canadians who rented RVs took an estimated 612,000 trips bringing the collective total number of RV trips in Canada to 8.8 million (Devehish, 2018).  In BC, economic activity associated with RVing generated approximately $3.3 billion.

Spotlight On: Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition

The Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition (CRVBCC) represents campground managers and brings together additional stakeholders including the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of BC and the Freshwater Fisheries Society. Their aim is to increase the profile of camping and RV experiences throughout BC, achieving this through a website, a blog, and media outreach. For more information, visit the Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition website.

According to the Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition (CRVBCC, 2014), BC is home to 340 vehicle accessible campgrounds managed by the BC Society of Park Facility Operators.

Turning to camping, across the country there are approximately 3,000 independently owned and operated campgrounds welcomed guests for camping in both RVs and tents in Canada.  In BC there are over 1,500 campgrounds (Camping & RV in BC, 2020). Seven national parks within the province contain an additional 14 campgrounds, and the BC Recreation Sites and Trails Branch manages more than 1,200 backcountry sites including campgrounds and other facilities. Another 300 private RV parks and campgrounds play host to a mixture of longer-stay residents and overnight guests.  Destination British Columbia inspects and approves over 500 campgrounds across the province.

Spotlight On: The BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association

The BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) was founded in 1944 to represent the interests of independently owned campgrounds and lodges. It provides advocacy and collaborative marketing, and promotes best practice among members. For more information, visit the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association website.

Chapter 5 provides more in-depth information about the importance of the recreation sector to BC. For now, let’s move our discussion forward by taking a closer look at the common organizational structure of many accommodation businesses.

Media Attributions

  • Night-Neighbours

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Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC - 2nd Edition by Morgan Westcott and Wendy Anderson, Eds is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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