A now-closed drop-in centre for tourists visiting the Langleys was drawing mostly local people looking to leave town, not out-of-towners wanting to visit.
A majority of the people who went to the visitors centre at the Langley Events Centre (LEC) were looking for help planning trips to other destinations, Tourism Langley statistics show.
“We discovered that over 75 per cent of visitors coming into the Visitor Centre were local residents looking for information and brochures to plan their trips outside of Langley,” a recent Tourism Langley highlights newsletter revealed. The article did not say how many visitors attended the centre.
The newsletter was emailed to Township council members and the mayor in April.
Tourism Langley recently closed the visitors centre at the LEC and moved to a second-storey office at E206-20159 88 Ave.
The office is no longer open to visitors.
Staff are now said to be focusing efforts online, where most of the queries from non-residents have been coming.
When the move was announced, Christina Marchand, Tourism Langley destination sales and marketing manager, said the agency was reaching out to potential visitors rather than waiting for them to come to Langley.
“We are not the traditional visitor centre anymore,” Marchand said.
“We are offering all of our services online.”
That includes the Tourism Langley website and social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Plans include an outreach program that targets “high traffic locations and events.”
According to available disclosure reports, the not-for-profit Tourism Langley is largely funded through a hotel tax that accounts for three-quarters of its $500,000 annual budget, with most of the rest coming from government grants and contracts.
— with files from Monique Tamminga