Negotiations with the Quebec provincial government are likely to delay a unified Canadian campground rating system for two to five years, according to Don Mockford, executive vice president of Campgrounds*Campings Canada (CCC).
Although all of Canada’s campground associations – including Camping Quebec – have approved using the Camping Select rating program that will be administered by CCC, the Quebec provincial government wants the rating system to be tied to campground licensing requirements that have not yet been established, according to Mockford.
“There are some issues around government that have to be dealt with before they implement it,” said Mockford, who also is executive vice president of the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association. “Quebec government officials have said they want a rating program handled by a third party along with a licensing system.”
In November, the Ontario Private Campgrounds Association (OPCA) became the latest provincial association to endorse Camping Select, which has been used to rate campgrounds in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and New Brunswick since 1994.
British Columbia and Alberta completed pilot programs last year and are moving toward fully implementing Camping Select.
“It is quite clear that campers are looking for a national rating program,” said Marcel Gobeil, OPCA executive director. “There is no question that we need some kind of standard to give the traveling public some assurance that they are going to find a clean campground.”
Being rated through Camping Select for an annual fee of $200 annually is a requirement for membership in OPCA, Gobeil said.
Ontario operated its own rating system for two years, but found the cost of travel to be prohibitive.
The Camping Select program is financed by fees campgrounds pay to CCC, an association representing about 4,000 campgrounds throughout Canada.
Camping Select awards campgrounds between one and five stars in half-star increments based on a formula that involves amenities, service and health and safety.
The Camping Select program is an offshoot of Canada Select rating program for roofed tourist accommodations that is overseen by Hotel Canada, a tourism trade association.
CCC, in January, signed an agreement with the Canada Select Accommodations Ratings Council to oversee Camping Select.
“We are just in the embryo stage and there remain questions about how all this will be set up,” Mockford said.
Ratings are published in individual provincial directories and are available on the Internet at www.canadaselect.com/CampingSelect.