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Tourism Now March 14, 2012
In 2011, the number of overseas visitors (i.e., from outside of Canada and the U.S.) arriving in Toronto by air increased by 6.8 percent from 2010, and marked an increase of 14.7 percent over 2009. As can be observed in the chart below, this progress has come in the form of steady, consistent growth throughout the year.

Overseas Air Arrivals to Toronto

Source: Statistics Canada
U.S. business media take note of Toronto development
Two major U.S. publications recently focused on Toronto’s development. Forbes and the Wall Street Journal looked at the luxury hotel and condo boom, while a second WSJ piece homed in on the waterfront development plan, complete with slideshow.

Sports summit raises funds and awareness
For the fifth year in a row, Tourism Toronto was a partner with the Toronto Sports Council in the annual Sport Leadership Summit. Designed to bring together sport event organizers and community sport leaders, this year’s event featured the Honourable Bal Gosal, Federal Minister of State (Sport), and David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto.

There were several key highlights at this year’s event including:
  • Updates on the 2012 Ontario Summer Games (OSG) and the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games
  • First ever Toronto Sport Council “Sport Recognition Awards” to showcase key volunteers who support community sport in Toronto
  • A silent auction, which raised over $3,500 to support the hosting of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games

The power of Oprah
Seizing the Oprah moment, Tourism Toronto secured a special block of tickets for Oprah’s Life Class live event in April and offered the tickets with hotel rooms through a special package. The PR effort to drive consumers to the packages resulted in stories in The Globe and Mail, Hamilton Spectator and Buffalo News, among others. In just a week, Tourism Toronto sold 141 hotel-ticket packages, including 20 different hotel properties in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, selling out the entire block of 300 tickets.

NYC and meetings media coverage
A writer for the New York Daily News and Meetings Focus Magazine was in Toronto to discover some of the city’s meetings and convention venues that included "Toronto Eats" as well as exploring attractions. With a reach of 22,533, Meetings Focus is the leading North American publisher for the meetings and event market, and NY Daily News has 20 million unique visitors to its website monthly.

Independent meeting planners trade ideas
From February 23-25, Niagara was the spot for the 2012 Annual Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners Conference and Tourism Toronto was well-represented, along with a number of hotel members. As an invited panel participant, TT’s representative had a lively discussion on “Ethics in the Meetings Industry.” Being visible as an industry professional at events such as this is an excellent way to build TT’s reputation for meeting-planning expertise among potential clients.

West Coast sales mission
In late February, TT’s International Leisure Trade sales team led an eight-member sales mission to Los Angeles and San Francisco targeting over 25 key tour operator clients who sell both adult FIT/group and student educational packages. These one-on-one meetings at clients’ offices around California resulted in members booking short-term business as well a number of prospective opportunities for the future.

Selling in the capital
In Ottawa March 19-20, TT’s Association and Sports Sales team will be collaborating along with several members in a combined effort to secure more business in the Ottawa area for Toronto. Along with various sales calls, TT will play host to 14 clients at an Ottawa Senators game.

Join our European sales mission
In line with our key cities strategy for Europe, TT's International Leisure Trade Sales team is planning a sales mission to Paris, Milan and Rome from June 11-15, targeting key FIT tour operators and retail agents in those cities. For more information or to participate in this mission please contact Brian Graziano at 416-203-3836 or

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (400+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Mar 15-18 Alcoholics Anonymous 3,000
Mar 20-25 Cdn Assoc for Advancement of Music & the Arts - CMW 700
Mar 27-28 Electricity Distributors Association 400
Mar 29 - Apr 2 Art Libraries Society of North America 500
Mar 18-25 New Democratic Party of Canada, National Convention 3,000
Mar 14-21 Wine & Cheese Show 15,000
Mar 17-18 Toronto International Spring Motorcycle Show 10,000
Mar 27-31 First Robotics Canada, Greater Toronto West Regional 500
Canadian Music Week is hosting the two-day 2012 Digital Media Summit, March 21 and 22 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Among the keynote speakers is Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. More information and registration details may be found here.

Euchre anyone?
The Allstream Centre is the venue for the inaugural Meetings Industry Euchre Tournament on Friday April 13! This is your chance to network with industry peers while raising funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital. Non-euchre players are welcome, as the evening includes a lesson for beginners. Details and registration information are here.

Green event standards are here!
A set of eight new APEX/ASTM international standards provide event planners and their suppliers with guidelines for creating environmentally sustainable events. Many years in the making, these ISO-compliant standards are an important development for those connected to the meetings industry.

The new standards will be a hot topic at the upcoming Green Meetings Industry Council Annual Sustainable Meetings Conference, April 22-25 in Montreal. Please join Tourism Toronto colleagues at the event to learn how the new standards will affect the industry and for inspiration for building a compelling story for a sustainable meetings destination. Check the conference website for more information, or feel free to contact Tourism Toronto’s Kathryn Wakefield at

Celebrating Exceptional People
On April 27, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association will recognize outstanding “ambassadors” in the GTA hotel community at the 1st Annual Spirit Awards. GTHA members will celebrate their exceptional colleagues while enjoying an afternoon of camaraderie and delicious fare. Winners will be chosen through a nomination process. If you are a GTHA member and would like to nominate an associate or wish to purchase tickets please visit the GTHA website. Spirit Awards sponsorship packages are also available for organizations and businesses that provide goods and services to the hotel industry.
Honours for Torontonians!
Christina Ramsay Christina Ramsay, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Park Hyatt Toronto has been named the top performer in North America for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Christina was recognized for her contributions to Hyatt Hotels through their luxury brand that has been a direct result of her strong business acumen and exceptional leadership skills.

Judith Goodkin Judith Goodkin, General Manager of Food & Beverage at Allstream Centre received top honours from her parent company, Centerplate, as General Manager of the Year for North America at their 2012 Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Centerplate recognized Judith for her leadership in increasing sales and leading her team in outstanding customer service and continually enhancing the client experience at Allstream Centre.

Congratulations to both!
Update your Member Record
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Welcome new members

The Old Toronto Beer Tour

Bench - Toronto Eaton Centre

Big Smoke – Toronto Eaton Centre

H&M – Toronto Eaton Centre

Joey – Toronto Eaton Centre

Lacoste – Toronto Eaton Centre

Michael Kors – Toronto Eaton Centre

Nike Running – Toronto Eaton Centre

Rare – Toronto Eaton Centre

Sony Store – Toronto Eaton Centre

Swarovski – Toronto Eaton Centre

Victoria's Secret – Toronto Eaton Centre

Zara – Toronto Eaton Centre

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Consumer e-Newsletter Consumer e-News

"Of course, with brands such as Club Monaco and Roots operating in the U.S. for nearly two decades, Canadian fashion is hardly new to Americans. What is new, however, is the range of the current Canadian offering, its positioning and price."

Financial Times
Events page »

Update your listing »

Tourism Toronto 2010 Annual Report »
To Mar 17
World MasterCard Fashion Week
The Tents, David Pecaut Square

Mar 14-18
Sportsmen's Show
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Mar 15-18
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Rose Theatre

Mar 16-18
Wine & Cheese Show
International Centre

Mar 16-25
National Home Show & Canada Blooms
Direct Energy Centre

Mar 21-25
Canadian Music Week
Various venues

Mar 21-25
National Ballet’s The Seagull
Four Seasons Centre

Mar 23 - Apr 1
TIFF Bell Lightbox

Mar 28 - Apr 1
One of a Kind Spring Show
Direct Energy Centre

Mar 29 - Apr 1
Yoga Show and Conference
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

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

Test your knowlege of Toronto trivia!

As we celebrate Fashion Week and what ladies wear, we want to know what Toronto band’s performance at a City Hall event in 1991 was cancelled because its name was considered offensive?

Please send your answer to The first few to answer correctly will be published in the next issue of Tourism Now.

The people who knew the correct answer last week were:

Sandra Woloschuk - Gray Line Toronto
Tracy Ford - Delta Chelsea Hotel
Suzanne Cinq-Mars - Metropolitan Hotels
Maria Bava and Andrew Gillespie - Mendelssohn Event Logistics
Paola DeBiasi - Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East

They all knew that Tony Robbins, who was born on Leap Day 1960, will be one of the roster of speakers at Oprah Winfrey’s “Life Class: The Tour” on April 16.


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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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207 Queens Quay West, Suite 405, Toronto ON M5J 1A7. Phone: 416-203-2600