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Tourism Now May 9, 2012
Over the past several years Toronto has seen a shift in U.S. visitors. In 2011, air arrivals from the U.S. were up 10 per cent from 2008 and auto arrivals down 16 per cent over the same period. Visitors arriving by air tend to spend both more time and money in the city, meaning this group represents an especially valuable market, as is illustrated in the chart below.

2011 U.S. Overnight Visitors

The best way to a journalist’s heart...
For four days in April, Tourism Toronto’s Media Relations team captured the attention and appetites of some of New York’s elite media. Cooking right in their own backyards, Chef Tom Brodi from TOCA by tom brodi, Chef Donna Dooher from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Chef Paul Brans from O&B’s Bannock tempted taste buds at multiple events at venues like the Condé Nast cafeteria and Bon Appetit magazine’s event kitchen. Journalists were from top outlets such as Elite Traveler, the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, the New York Daily News, BBC News and Fox News.

In a related item, Food & Wine magazine’s Trendspotting has noticed that star NYC chefs have their sights on Toronto for new outposts of their restaurants in the city’s hottest hotels in "Toronto's New Expats." Food & Wine reaches 954,592 readers monthly.

Major Asian sales missions
TT’s International Leisure Trade Sales team was in Asia in April to participate in Canadian Tourism Commission-sponsored events. First, TT leveraged seminars held in Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoko and Tokyo, Japan to educate retail agents and tour operators about new product, upcoming events and attractions that appeal to the Japanese traveller and to highlight retail packages offered through TT’s Japanese tour operator partners.

Then during the Focus China Marketplace, TT conducted 53 appointments with Chinese tour operators during the three-day event. Following the tradeshow, TT joined the CTC China office for travel agent training sessions with agents in Beijing and Shanghai. TT also joined Hainan Airlines and tour operators for a training workshop in Xi’an targeting 75 travel agencies from the Northwest region of China. Working with Air China Travel, TT conducted training session and sales calls with travel agents for the east coast region and in Shenyang. Effective May 1, 2012, the Canadian visa application process for Chinese travellers will be streamlined allowing a quicker turnaround time.

What happens in Vegas... comes to Toronto
From April 24-28, TT’s Corporate Sales team travelled to Las Vegas for Collinson Media’s Collaborate Marketplace. As it was only the second year exhibiting at the new show it was gratifying that out of 350 planners attending, 155 are interested in Canada and Toronto to host their future events. The planners are from a range of industries and with 65 appointments in three days and a hosted reception, Toronto will be sure to see some business as a result.

24 Hours in Toronto X 2
Two trendy publications had a quick look at Toronto for their readers: Condé Nast U.K. focused on Queen Street West, while Quebec-based Clin d’oeil took in the new Picasso exhibit at the AGO and Trump Toronto’s upscale offerings.

West end showcase
TT and Toronto West association hotel sales managers hosted meeting planners on April 19 to showcase the region’s unique service and hospitality offerings to these local clients.

Meeting U.K. media
TT’s Media Relations representative headed to London last week to connect with top U.K. media such as the Daily Mail, OK! Magazine and Daybreak TV and hosted an intimate "Toronto Dinner Party" to introduce the destination.

Hidden gems unearthed for meeting planners
On April 17, TT’s sellers teamed up to showcase some of Toronto’s newest venues for a group of meeting planners from the Canadian Corporate and Ontario Association markets. The clients had a full day of site inspections featuring culinary delights and interesting locations, views and style.

Pharma clients take in Toronto
From May 4-6, TT’s Canadian Corporate Sales team hosted representatives from key pharmaceutical clients to update them on venues, hotels and everything Toronto.

New connections made at sport marketplace
With over half of the 350 delegates in attendance first-time participants, TT’s Sport Sales team was able to make many new connections at the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance’s Sport Events Congress in April. The team met with key event rights holders from national sport organizations and, for another year, contributed to the development of future sport leaders with a Tourism Toronto $1500 scholarship to Humber College School of Hospitality Recreation and Tourism.

Have you registered yet?
Hundreds of industry partners will be on hand for Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting on June 5. The meeting starts at 3:30 p.m. with a networking reception immediately following, all at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building. An e-vite has been sent to members and partners which you can also find online. We hope you'll join us!

Selling Toronto abroad
TT’s International Sales team and six partners will participate in the IMEX tradeshow in Frankfurt from May 22-24. With over 3,800 hosted buyers from 68 countries in the association, corporate and incentive markets, IMEX has a strong proportion of buyers to exhibitors in attendance. With Team Toronto as the major partner within the CTC-organized Canada Stand, the work of developing new business relationships will begin.

SportAccord International
TT's Sport Sales team will join forces with the Canadian Tourism Commission and CSTA to woo international sport federations from May 20-25 at SportAccord in Quebec City. Over 1,500 sport organizations from across the globe will participate and Toronto will continue to be top of mind as the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games approach.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (300+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
May 7-14 Taekwondo Canada, Canada Open & World Para Open 2,000
May 13-25 Volleyball Canada 25,000
May 17-19 International Society for Autism Research 2,000
May 17-21 Grassroots Floorball Inc. 1,000
May 18-20 Judo Ontario, 2012 Ontario Open 600
May 22-June 2 American Academy of Physician Assistants 8,200
May 13-14 Music Industries Association of Canada 2,000
Spirit Awards Three hundred and sixty members of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association gathered recently to honour the exceptional ambassadors in the region’s hotel industry. The inaugural Spirit Awards luncheon recognized 18 award winners for their contributions to the industry.

Joe Gomes, Park Hyatt Toronto, Lifetime Achievement Award

Linda Atagi, InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, Accounting Ambassador of the Year

Krista Kungla, Cambridge Suites Hotel Toronto, Administration Ambassador of the Year

Steve Mertsis, The Fairmont Royal York, Banquet Food and Beverage Ambassador of the Year

Bilal Saab, InterContinental Toronto Centre, Bell Ambassador of the Year

Sherine Sutherland, InterContinental Toronto Centre, Concierge of the Year

Red Garcia, Hilton Toronto, Culinary Ambassador of the Year

Jose Linharas, Radisson Admiral Toronto Harbourfront, Engineering Ambassador of the Year

Jennifer Dover, Renaissance Toronto, Guest Services Ambassador of the Year

Josh Stone, The Fairmont Royal York, Health Club/Spa Ambassador of the Year

Cecilia Battad, Westin Harbour Castle, Housekeeping Ambassador of the Year

Rose Douglas, Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, Laundry Ambassador of the Year

Clint Aquino, Novotel Mississauga, Reservations Ambassador of the Year

Stephen Bossence, Le Meridien King Edward, Restaurant Food and Beverage Ambassador of the Year

Mark Ducusin, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Hotel Security Ambassador of the Year

Ramonito Ancog, Delta Toronto East, Steward of the Year

Tina Terzo, The Westin Prince Toronto, Switchboard Operator of the Year

Antonio Murugupillai, Hotel Le Germain Toronto, Valet/ Door Person/ Shuttle Driver Ambassador of the Year

Congratulations to all for the well-deserved recognition!

Welcome new members

Art Toronto

Blackwood Gallery – University of Toronto Mississauga


Foodies on Foot

Haunted Walk of Toronto


Racing Adventures

Meeting Facility
St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre

Meeting Service
ESP – Event Sponsor Partners

Three Event Planning & Design Inc.

Mengrai Gourmet Thai

Birks - Manulife Centre

Birks - Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Erin Mills Town Centre

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Events page »

Update your listing »

Tourism Toronto 2010 Annual Report »
To May 31
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Various venues

To June 3
Dancap’s West Side Story
Toronto Centre for the Arts

To June 3
Cavalia’s Odysseo
Big White Tent

To August 2012
Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

May 9-19
LULA Lounge

May 11
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance
Living Arts Centre

May 12
Science Rendezvous
Various locations

May 17-22
Canadian Open Volleyball Championship
Direct Energy Centre

May 17-27
Inside Out Film Festival
TIFF Bell Lightbox

May 25-27
Carassauga: Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures
Various venues

May 26-27
Doors Open
Throughout Toronto

For a complete listing of events, please go to our online events calendar.

Test your knowlege of Toronto trivia!

As we look forward to the AGO’s Picasso exhibition, we want to know – what is the name of the marquee painting donated to the AGO by the late Ken Thomson that was the most expensive Old Master painting ever bought at a British auction at $76.7 million?

Please send your answer to

It must have been a tough one last time because only Robert Laughlin of Universal Links Inc., correctly responded that The Black Star Collection – made up of over a quarter of a million images - has been donated to Ryerson University.


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Tourism Toronto is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture as Regional Tourism Organization 5. For more information please visit


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