NWT Parks 2021 Season Highlights

News Type: 
Blog Entries

April 4, 2022


When the NWT Parks reservation system opens on Tuesday, it will be with no COVID-19 restrictions. With the NWT Border now open to leisure travelers, NWT parks contractors and staff are, once again, looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Canada and around the world.

Read a summary of 2021 NWT Parks statistics

Typically NWT Parks record more than half of their total visitors from outside the NWT. In the 2019 season, almost 60% of overnight stays were recorded by visitors: 43% from other areas of Canada, 8% from the USA, and 8% from other international countries.

With COVID travel restrictions in place and an emphasis on opting for staycations, many NWT residents were introduced to, or rediscovered, the beauty and joy of the NWT’s many parks and campgrounds.

NWT Parks in 2020 – by the Numbers

NWT Parks Opening 2021

During the summer of 2020, the first impacted by the COVID pandemic, NWT residents registering for overnight stays in NWT campgrounds increased by 46 percent. 

Despite border closures continuing through last summer, most regions experienced another rise in park use by NWT residents. For 2021, NWT Parks welcomed a total of 25,843 overnight visitors; 12% more than in 2020 but still well-short of the pre-pandemic 2019 total of 35,249.

Parks in the Beaufort Delta realized the greatest increase (31%) of resident overnight visitors. Even parks in the North Slave, which typically welcome the highest proportion of NWT resident campers, reported a 2% increase over the 5 year average.

Interestingly, 1,720 overnight visitors last summer did identify as from out of territory (something that can be attributed to exemptions in travel regulations allowing family reunifications). 

Generally, it would seem that NWT residents also stayed a little longer. The average length of stay for all parks was 3.3 days last summer; an increase of approximately one day (It was 2.3 days in 2019).