Tourism Langley revives in Township

The agency won’t promote Langley City, which is creating its own agency.

Tourism Langley is alive in Langley Township.

The Township announced provincial funding approval this week, following a turbulent year for the local tourism marketing organization.

“This is great news for the Township of Langley, its hotels, businesses, and attractions, and for the many people who visit us every year,” said Mayor Jack Froese. “Langley Township is home to six vibrant communities that provide incredible opportunities for shopping, dining, recreation, and entertainment, and beautiful countryside full of wineries, golf courses, equestrian centres, and unique agri-tourism destinations. Our community has so much to offer and we are pleased this new agreement will allow Tourism Langley to continue operating as our Destination Marketing Organization.”

Tourism Langley has had a tumultuous year, after almost voting to dissolve itself in March and losing its previous board chair.

Langley Township had requested some restructuring of the board, which was jointly funded through a provincially-regulated tax on hotel rooms in both Langley City and Township.

The then-board of Tourism Langley balked at the changes, but at an AGM in the spring, the new leadership at the tourism agency agreed to make some structural alterations.

Then in June, it was Langley City that decided to leave Tourism Langley altogether.

Last month it decided to create a new tourism entity of its own, and hired the Downtown Langley Business Association to oversee the new service, expected to be operation by early 2018.

Tourism Langley, operating on a skeleton staff for several months, will now be funded for the next five years.

Although much of the funding comes from the provincially-run hotel tax, there will also be a fee for service contract with the Township this year for $50,000, said Val Gafka, the Township’s senior manager of corporate administration.

“The Township looks forward to working with Tourism Langley’s Board of Directors and staff in the years ahead to promote this incredible community and support our businesses and stakeholders,” said Gafka.

The organization will also be looking for other grants for its programs, Gafka said.

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