The way people access information about their desired tourism destinations is evolving, and so must the Langley organization funneling much of that local information to the masses.
The amenities that attract people to visit Langley are increasing, with more facilities each year offering unique products and services â€“ whether through agri-tourism, retail operations, or destination attractions â€“ explained Deborah Kulchiski, executive director of Tourism Langley.
But how people are finding out about those services and products has shifted so significantly in recent years that the team at Tourism Langley is having to dramatically change how it does its job, she said.
At present, the Tourism Langley office is located in the Langley Events Centre, and while that location during the past four years has been instrumental in increasing visibility and awareness to the fledgling umbrella organization, societal changes have spelled an end to the need for such a high-profile location, said Tourism Langley president Angie Quaale.
Bottom line, fewer and fewer people are actually stopping in at the actual visitor information centre, instead gaining much of what they need on the Internet, and in fact much of it via their mobile devises.
Kulchiski said a lot of energy is being refocused to serve visitors and all Tourism Langleyâ€™s community partners through an increased web presence.
Constant amenity and event updates are made to www.tourism-langley.ca, and the agency reaches out through initiatives such as the #langleyfresh campaign aimed at engaging residents and visitors alike to share how they see Langley, through on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.
In the meantime Langley continues to grow as a tourism destination.
It boasts a wide range of crowd-pleasing tourism amenities, such the Greater Vancouver Zoo, the Fort Langley National Historic Site, and Cascades Casino.
Langleyâ€™s popularity as an event host also continues to blossom â€“ in part due to events like the well-established Langley Good Times Cruise-In car show, the Canada Day festivities, Arts Alive!, and the Cranberry Festival.
Those and other festivals and events keep drawing thousands of new people each year to discover what Langley has to offer.
This combination of the tourism amenities, festivals, high-calibre events, and arts and historic attractions â€“ peppered with the mix of shopping options and natural amenities such an extensive weave of trails â€“ positions Langley well as a popular destination, Kulchiski said.
But one of largest areas of tourism growth in Langley has, without question, been on the sports front, Quaale explained.
â€œAs interest and participation in sport grows within the leisure industry, the desire of people to travel to compete in or to view sporting events has grown significantly,â€ she said, noting that â€œLangley truly continues to shine and excel as a destination for sports.â€
Whether people are coming to paddle on the Fraser River, cycle through the farm and wine country of South Langley, or play team sports on the fields or in arenas, gyms, or state-of-the-art recreation facilities around the community, every visitor is helping Langley is now earning distinction as a sporting mecca.
On that front, it didnâ€™t hurt that Langley played host to the 2010 BC Summer Games and the 2013 BC Special Olympics, or that hundreds of older athletes are expected here this fall for the BC Seniors Games.
On the national level, Langley also hosted the Canadian Legion track and field championships in 2013, and continues to host some of the countryâ€™s most noteworthy equestrian competitions at Thunderbird Show Park.
And, of course, Langley Events Centre is playing a key role in building this communityâ€™s sporting reputation, especially with the addition of the Vancouver Stealth and national lacrosse play.
Whether sports fanatic, avid golfer, outdoor enthusiast, or weekend warrior, Langley has something for everyone, Kulchiski said.
And numbers indicate that more and more people are discovering it.