Users can book campsites similar to booking rooms on Airbnb
A B.C. business wants to alleviate the pressure many people may feel to book summer campsites long before the camping season even gets underway — by having landowners rent out private land to campers.
Campertunity’s co-founders, Guita Yazdani and Nora Lozano, started an online platform where people can book camping spots on private property.
“We’re bringing camping into the shared economy,” said Yazdani. “It’s like anything where you share your home, [or] you share cars. Now you’re sharing camping.”
Yazdani hopes that Campertunity will help relieve some of the frustration people feel when provincial campsites get booked up quickly.
Provincial campsites snapped up quickly
“It’s like a bombardment every year,” she said. “You have to [book] your campsite months in advance.”
She believes this frustration will draw more people to booking camping spots on private land. Campsites on Campertunity run up to $120 per night. Provincial campsites fees range anywhere between $5 to $120 per night.
Starting Jan. 2 each year, provincial campsites in B.C. can be booked four months in advance, but often get snapped up quickly.
“At campsites it’s like buying concert tickets,” said Yazdani.
“Canada is the second largest country in the world and it’s this hard to get into our nature? It just seems wrong. So we’re bringing camping into the shared economy.”
Landowners can list their properties on the Campertunity website along with the amenities they provide, and users can browse for a spot by location and pay per night.
Last summer, when the business launched, it only had a dozen bookings. Today, there are 300 users and 32 listings, said Yazdani.
“We definitely expect more people to sign up this summer, especially since it’s already spring, and camping is on the mind of many outdoor enthusiasts.”
Yazdani hopes that the business will increase interest in agricultural tourism.
Some of the properties listed on the site are owned by farmers and ranchers. The income they generate from rentals can help sustain their land, she said.
“It’s kind of a way of having people learn about farm life and it’s promoting agri-tourism.”
The province’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) rules say that agricultural tourism is permitted on ALR land as long as it doesn’t change the principal use of the property and doesn’t have a negative impact on farming operations.
The rules also stipulate that accommodation on the land must be short-term and is limited to a maximum of ten tents or sleeping units.