Business

Tourism a growing job sector

Tourism is an increasing contributor to the Langley economy.

Langley is home to a number of hotels, which get constant use by visitors to the area. The most recent large hotel to open is the Sandman Signature Hotel and Suites, on the south side of Highway 1 at 200 Street. It complements the existing Sandman Inn on the north side of the freeway, just east of 200 Street.

Several of the hotels in that area are popular destinations for visitors to the nearby Langley Events Centre, which is rapidly becoming a key tourist attraction in Langley. It hosts many provincial and national sports events, including the Continental Cup of Curling last January, which was televised nationally by TSN.

Another  major draw to Langley is the equestrian industry. One of the largest attractions is the Thunderbird Equestrian Centre on 72 Avenue at 248 Street, which hosts several major horse shows each year. There are numerolus smaller equestrian centres in Langley as well.

Agri-tourism has become a larger industry in recent years as well, with one of the most popular attractions being Langley’s many estate wineries.

Tourism Langley (www.tourism-langley.ca), located at the Events Centre, has a number of packages for tourists who are visiting Langley.

Tourism-related jobs have been on the upswing in this community, and that trend is expected to continue.

British Columbia’s tourism industry will be a leader in provincial job growth, as businesses look to fill 101,000 new job openings by 2020, according to a study of labour demand and supply by go2, the B.C. tourism industry’s human resource association.

The Tourism Labour Market Strategy, released in the spring of 2012 by go2, sets out the plan to recruit, retain and train the workers needed to keep pace with the growth projected for the industry. Nearly half of the 101,000 openings will be new jobs created by the tourism industry across the province, adding 44,220 more jobs to the provincial workforce by 2020. The other approximately 57,000 openings are due to replacements (i.e. retirements).

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