Tourism White Rock takes over kiosk

Shifting focus of chamber of commerce cited by mayor for change

Management of the visitors information centre on White Rock’s waterfront is no longer a function of the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce.

The mandate has been passed to Tourism White Rock.

“It’s something we’ve been working on since the inception of the tourism society,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said of the move. “(Tourism White Rock) was formed… to sort of look after all the tourism function in the city.”

The step was disclosed last week – during council’s last meeting of the year – as information released from an in-camera meeting. The process leading to it was discussed behind closed doors because it involved contracts, Baldwin told Peace Arch News.

Chamber officials are “totally in support” of the hand-over, executive director Cliff Annable told PAN, noting the Semiahmoo Peninsula organization was one of few that had both a chamber and a tourism component.

The kiosk, located just east of the museum, has been run by the chamber since Bill Reid led the organization in the ’80s.

Reid, a former MLA and minister of tourism (and who is now executive director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce), knew how to get through the system to leverage whatever funds the city put into the chamber to get more money from the province, Baldwin said. The city entered into a contract for the service in order to facilitate that leverage, he said.

At the time, with the majority of chamber membership hailing from White Rock, the arrangement “made sense,” said Baldwin.

Over the years, however, that has reversed.

“It’s about 75, 80 per cent Surrey… so it doesn’t make sense for them to take it full on any longer because it doesn’t meet the needs of their membership, primarily.

“That’s not really their core business.”

While details are still being worked out, and chamber staff may be called on to handle some aspects of tourism, Baldwin said Tourism White Rock has the lead.

In addition to creating a “more coherent” system, the move will save the city money, Baldwin said.

Tourism director executive director Betina Albornoz said she won’t be able to comment until she returns from holiday next week.

Director of financial services Sandra Kurylo said last Thursday that she did not yet know what those savings might be, as details are still being worked out.

The city gave the chamber $61,200 for tourism services in 2012, she said, with the majority of that earmarked for operating the kiosk. Tourism White Rock received $20,000 in city funds this year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

A view of Surrey's new modular park washroom in a photo posted to archdaily.com.
‘Playful, durable, safe’: Surrey’s new park washroom design splashed on architecture website

Vancouver firm contracted to create prototype now installed at two parks, with two more in the works

Police stopped car riddled with bullets in Whalley Monday night. (Photo: CFSEU)
Police seize two pounds of pot, $25K from Surrey car riddled with bullet holes

This was in the neighbourhood of 104th Avenue and Whalley Boulevard on Monday night

Aerial view of Surrey's Port Mann Park looking south, with the bridge to the right. (Photo: google.com/maps)
Former Surrey landfill site pitched for riverfront trails, group camping area

Grant application would cover $9.97 million project cost at Port Mann Park, report to council says

Conservative Part of Canada Leader Erin O’Toole will speak at a virtual town hall hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. (The Canadian Press file photo)
Erin O’Toole to provide ‘road map to economic recovery’ at virtual town hall

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce to host Conservative Party of Canada leader

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

Most Read