For almost a decade

Decision imminent for Tourism Langley

A vote expected Monday will determine the fate of the local tourism organization.

There will soon be an answer to whether the Langleys’ tourism body will carry on or split, after more than two months of uncertainty.

Since 2007 Tourism Langley has been inviting visitors to the communities, but a mid-October decision by Langley Township left the organization’s future uncertain.

The Township wanted to consider the option of going-it-alone rather than staying in the relationship with the City of Langley, when it came to tourism activities.

While Tourism Langley board chair Teri James understands the Township’s need to explore other options, she acknowledges the uncertainty caused the resignation of the organization’s executive director, Deborah Kulchiski, who had been with Tourism Langley almost since it began. Her last day was Dec. 23.

“I don’t blame them,” James said of the Township’s needs. “Because it’s a five-year commitment.”

That uncertainty is expected to come to an end on Monday according to James.

“The Township has promised us a decision one way or the other by Jan. 16,” she added.

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CAPTION: Tourism Langley board chair Teri James

The date of decision was confirmed in writing in a letter from Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese. James believes the date – which coincides with the Township council meeting – will allow for final mayor and council discussion and voting.

If the Township chooses to separate from Tourism Langley, the operation will cease to exist and both the City of Langley and the Township will need to form their own new tourism entities, according to James.

However, if the Township decides to continue with the existing model, the operation will ramp up and proceed with hiring for two vacant staff positions including an executive director.

Tourism Langley made a decision before Christmas to engage headhunters to begin searching for the organization’s next executive director because, as James explained, much time would have been lost if the search wasn’t started. A visitor services specialist role is also vacant and will be filled if the Township stays with the organization.

“It was kind of a no-brainer for me,” James said of the decision to start the executive search. “Why lose two months?”

The office continues to operate short-staffed with Christina Marchand and Munn Bagri.

Monday’s decision will determine if Tourism Langley carries on as usual or disbands.