Shortly after Langley City announced it was leaving Tourism Langley to create its own, separate marketing agency, there was a warning against calling the new venture “Tourism Langley City.”
A cease-and-desist letter was issued by Tourism Langley around the time the City announced the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) would be operating the new tourism destination marketing organization.
“No sooner did we have the words, “Tourism Langley City,’” printed in the newspaper, than Tourism Langley hit us with a cease and desist (letter that said we are) not be able to use the words ‘tourism’ or ‘Langley’ in the same sentence,” said Teri James, the DLBA executive director.
James disclosed the letter during a presentation to Langley City Council in response to a question by Coun. Paul Albrecht, who asked how the new City agency came to be called “Discover Langley City.”
James said the DLBA wasn’t intending to call the new marketing agency Tourism Langley City, “because that’s boring” but the phrase was being used as a “placeholder” until a new name could be chosen.
The letter, she said, “basically forced us to, sooner rather than later, make a decision (about a name) and Discover Langley City is where we landed.”
“And we think that was a very positive thing at the end of the day,” James added.
Tourism Langley acting executive director Mun Bagri said the cease-and-desist letter was issued because “Tourism Langley City” was too similar.
“It was basically infringing on our trademark,” Bagri said.
He said having two agencies with almost-identical names would have created confusion.
“Unfortunately, most people don’t realize there are two Langleys.”
Bagri said “Discover Langley City” was a good choice of name.
“It would be better, going forward, for both Langleys (to have tourism agencies with distinctively different names),” Bagri said.
When Langley City announced it was leaving Tourism Langley, the press release stated that “Langley City, in consultation with Langley City tourism industry stakeholders, has concluded that it is in the best interest of its tourism stakeholders to create a new Tourism Langley City entity to serve as the tourism Destination Marketing Organization for the community, and that its functions and services be delivered through a new service provider.”
The Township responded with an announcement that it was “pleased to continue working with Tourism Langley to promote the municipality and show visitors from across B.C. and around the world what its 120,000 residents already know.”
The City’s decision to separate itself from Tourism Langley came after several months of discord.
In December 2016, the head of Tourism Langley resigned as the Township considered departure from the destination marketing organization.
In February, the board called a special meeting to vote on dissolution of the organization, following a list of demands from the Township of Langley that the board felt was excessive.
The Tourism Langley membership voted to keep the organization going, but the following day, the City of Langley announced plans to explore alternative tourism models.
In March, Tourism Langley chair Teri James, treasurer Karen Long and director Lynn Whitehouse resigned from the organization.