Melissa Phillips, operation manager for the new Discover Langley City, (left) chatted with guests at the tourism agency’s launch party Thursday night at Red Velvet Cafe. Among the guests were Langley City Councillor Nathan Pachal (right). (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

VIDEO: New agency launches to promote Langley City tourism

Discover Langley City officially kicked off Thursday night with the unveiling of a 2018 game plan.

After what Mayor Ted Schaffer acknowledged as a sometimes “bumpy” road, Langley City is ready to go it alone with its own tourism organization.

And consequently Discover Langley City, headed up by operations manager Melissa Phillips, officially launched tonight.

“It was about a year ago that our council began to recognize a need for change and for a shift to a more Langley City-focused approach to tourism,” Schaffer said during the kick-off party at Red Velvet Cafe Thursday.

A few dozen local dignitaries, City business operators, and key people within the provincial tourism organizations came together for the event, and to hear about plans for Langley’s new tourism agency.

“The transition process was lengthy and sometime a bit bumpy, but we as a council are sincerely delighted with the results,” Schaffer said, calling the venture ground-breaking.

“This is the first time in this province that a BIA (Business Improvement Association) is working with its respective local government to provide tourism services for an entire community,” the mayor explained.

Last fall, council announced that it was contracting the Downtown Langley Business Association to oversee operations of the new City-specific tourism organization, and by mid-October, Phillips joined as its first staff person.

Having grown up in Langley and now living in Clayton Heights, Phillips said she is anxious to take on the challenging tasks ahead in her own community.

As a former Tourism Richmond employees, she said she understands the job at hand. She explained that the past few months has been about getting the organization up and operational, developing content for the new website (which launched Jan. 1), launching a strong social media presence, getting to know and work with the players from both the City and the tourism industry, designing brochures and marketing information, and commencing a marketing plan to draw more meetings and conventions to Langley City.

“Tonight was about bringing everyone together to see our vision for how we are going to grow tourism in Langley City,” Phillips said.

“Honestly, there’s a lot of hidden gems in Langley City, that people don’t know about… There’s more to Langley City than just the one way,” she said, confirming it’s Discover Langley City’s job to bring those secrets to the forefront.

Describing Thursday night’s party as a launch pad, she said: “Now, I want to kick some tourism butt.”

Langley City consumes four square miles, surrounded by Langley Township. The two Langleys previously participated together in Tourism Langley, but after extensive reviews, lose of staff, and considerable back and forth between the two councils, the Township opted to stay with the existing Tourism Langley while the City chose to break away and develop its own, new destination tourism agency funded in large part by a room tax collected from the six City motels (340 guest rooms).

Tourism Langley announced the hiring of a new leader, Erinn Kredba, last week. Langley City held the kick off of Discover with its event Thursday night.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Cloverdale’s cancer fundraising country concert hit the mark

Organizers believe the $600,000 goal was reached at the annual Gone Country - Here for the Cure.

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

Letter: Save the little forested area in Murrayville

A Langley letter writer is concerned development will mean the loss of greenspace.

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

BC Wildfire merges two Okanagan wildfires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Gold medallists at BC Games only trained together for 1 day

Ryan Goudron, Nathan Chan, Owen Pinto and Praise Aniamaka from Zone 4 - Fraser River ran together for the first time

Five taken to hospital after one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Most Read