The South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce has lost the city of White Rock's tourism contract following a decision by city council to move it to Tourism White Rock.
The move, announced at Monday 's council meeting, comes 30 years after the chamber was first awarded the contract, which was originally proposed by past chamber president Bill Reid.
"He was a former MLA and minister of tourism," said White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin of Reid. "When he came in, he knew all the workings of tourism and we did not have the wherewithal to take on tourism in the city. So the city entered into an agreement with them and they worked out a deal with the province to secure a grant to run a tourism booth down on the promenade."
Now, said Baldwin, it's time for White Rock's tourism to move on to a purely White Rock-dedicated organization to get the most for the city's tourism.
"When the chamber first started our tourism, their membership was two-thirds White Rock businesses," said Baldwin. "Now more of their members are from Surrey, and their interest isn't quite the same as it was before in promoting White Rock."
Cliff Annable, executive director of the chamber agreed, saying they were not surprised by the decision in any sense.
"We've been in discussions to make this progression for a while," said Annable. "The reality is that we can now focus entirely on our core business, which is to represent the members of our chamber."
Negotiations are ongoing for how much the contract will be worth. In 2012, the City of White Rock paid $61,200 to the chamber and $20,000 to Tourism White Rock for tourism services.