Langley City is leaving Tourism Langley to create its own Destination Marketing Organization.
On Tuesday morning, Langley City Council issued a press release saying it has decided to change course, “due to the uncertainty around the future of Tourism Langley.
“This decision was not an easy one to make, and was the result of the recent changes at Tourism Langley resulting in a Township-centric tourism body.”
Langley City, in consultation with Langley City tourism industry stakeholders, has concluded that it is in the best interest of its tourism stakeholders to create a new Tourism Langley City entity to serve as the tourism Destination Marketing Organization for the community, and that its functions and services be delivered through a new service provider, said the press release.
The City considered a number of options for providing tourism marketing services, including the creation of a new tourism service delivery model with a new service provider, or retaining Tourism Langley as its service provider.
The City will be submitting its five year Strategic Plan and the MRDT requirements to Destination BC and will cease its membership with Tourism Langley immediately.
The Township responded with its own press release after the City issued its.
The Township is pleased to continue working with Tourism Langley to promote the municipality and show visitors from across B.C. and around the world what its 120,000 residents already know.
“With so much for visitors to see and do, the Township of Langley confirms its position to continue working with Tourism Langley to showcase our municipality,” Froese said. “We have confidence in the Tourism Langley Board and the direction the organization is taking. The Township is pleased to be moving forward with them, along with our hoteliers and tourism stakeholders, to show the world all we have to offer.”
The City’s decision to separate itself from Tourism Langley comes after several months of discord. In December 2016, the head of Tourism Langley resigned as the Township considered departure from the destination marketing organization.
In February, the board called a special meeting to vote on dissolution of the organization, following a list of demands from the Township of Langley that the board felt was excessive.
The Tourism Langley membership voted to keep the organization going, but the following day, the City of Langley announced it plans to explore alternative tourism models.
In March, Tourism Langley chair Teri James, treasurer Karen Long and director Lynn Whitehouse resigned from the organization.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tourism Langley released its response to the City’s departure.
Noting the agency is “saddened by this turn of events,” the written statement reads, in part: “Our board was recently elected in May … and we have been working to provide stability and excellent service for our stakeholders with the uncertainty of the City of Langley’s pending decision.
“The board remains committed and active as we evaluate this decision and its outcomes (and) we will continue to focus on our unchanged mandate to … continue to promote visitation and overnight stays in Langley.”