Since 2001 the Delta Visitor Centre – located on 60th Avenue near the entrance to Tilbury Industrial Park –has been a hub for information for both visitors and local residents alike. “The Delta Chamber of Commerce operates the Delta Visitor Centre on behalf of the City of Delta, and we are part of the overall visitor services network across BC, under the guidance of the provincial government’s Destination BC,” says Tom Awrey, executive director.
“The Visitor Centre operates year-round, and last year the combined efforts by staff and volunteers provided almost 2,000 hours of on-site service to people coming in for information,” he says.
One program that has seen great success for the Visitor Centre is the Summer Street Team. “This outreach team consists of post-secondary or senior high school students who typically visit 60 to 65 events in the community throughout the summer to engage people and/or participate in the events,” says Awrey.
“The Street Team starts the summer by attending the Canada Day celebrations, then they are at the Tour de Delta Bike Race, the Boundary Bay Airshow, the Tsawwassen Sun Festival, the North Delta Show & Shine, the Ladner Quilt Walk and Car Show, just to name a few.”
The Street team also makes appearances at local market events, including the North Delta Farmers Markets, the Ladner Village Markets, and the Tsawwassen Farmers Markets. Visits to community recreational facilities, local farms and tourist related businesses top off their outreach activity.
In 2017, approximately 2,000 people physically visited the Delta Visitor Centre. “At our visitor centre, in addition to our staff team, we have a few long-standing volunteers who have been with us for many years,” says Awrey. “They are on-site in our office helping visitors and residents throughout the year. As we get into the summer, we see increasing numbers of tourists. We strive to promote memorable and engaging experiences for everyone who visits the Visitor Centre. We want to provide personalized information and promote a range of experiences that will encourage people to stay longer, invest more in their experiences in our community and return to Delta for future visits.”
He notes that the demographics of visitors is always changing, but currently 53 percent of the Centre’s visits last summer were from people elsewhere in BC, the next largest group was Delta residents at 41 percent, 2.5 percent of visitors were from elsewhere in Canada, 1.9 percent were from Europe, and 1.6 percent from the United States and Mexico. “It’s interesting that currently the majority of our visitors are from across BC and the rest of Canada,” says Awrey.
“Between the work we do on-site at the Delta Visitor Centre and the outreach of our Summer Street Team, our goal is to ensure that everyone we connect with has an enjoyable visit to our region. By all accounts, our efforts are paying off with very positive results.”