Tourism Langley could be broken up

Langley Township is considering its own tourism agency.

Langley’s tourism office could split into two next week, as the Township contemplates going it alone.

Langley Township council will have a closed meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss creating a new, Township-only tourism promotion organization.

Right now, nothing is set in stone and the Township is only looking at options, said Mayor Jack Froese.

“We haven’t pulled any funding,” he said.

The council has been meeting with stakeholders, including hotel owners.

But any decision will have to be made soon.

“We’ve got some deadlines to meet,” Froese said.

The expiration of funding agreements for Tourism Langley are coming up soon. The Township has to either renew their participation for several years, or create the new tourism agency.

Councillor Angie Quaale said the Township could look at its options and opportunities, including at a tourism agency that wouldn’t serve “two masters.”

“The City is, really, a separate city,” she said.

The Township has grown a lot over the last decade that it has shared a tourism agency with the City.

Prior to the creation of Tourism Langley, tourism marketing was handled by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

Teri James, chair of Tourism Langley’s board of directors, said there have been no issues raised or concerns over how Tourism Langley has been doing its job.

She would like to see the organization run as it has been, she said. James said that Tourism Langley has done a good job serving both communities.

The Township notified Tourism Langley and the City in mid-October that it was looking at the change.

The most recent statistical package created by Tourism Langley on the summer season showed that occupancy in local hotels was up by 10 per cent from May to August compared to the same period in 2015, and revenues up 15 per cent.

The number of people contacting Tourism Langley spiked by 117 per cent.

The budget for Tourism Langley is roughly $400,000 a year, with the bulk of the funding coming from a two per cent hotel tax. Langley City contributes $15,000 and the Township $51,000.

 

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