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TOURISM NOW - September 28, 2011

Photo: Fashion Week -



  • Toronto wins massive Rotary convention!
  • TT marketing campaign honoured at Ontario Tourism Summit
  • Major Chinese media visits
  • "We’ve Been Expecting You" fall training sessions

Tourism Snapshot

This September Toronto enjoyed higher occupancy rates than had been experienced in any of the previous three years. September is typically Toronto’s highest month for hotel occupancy and this year’s combination of the Toronto International Film Festival and several major conventions spurred a particularly strong month approaching 80 per cent occupancy for the entire region.

Toronto September Occupancy (%) Business Travellers' Interest to Return to Toronto on Leisure Trip
Source: Smith Travel Research (preliminary figures)



Rotarians choose Toronto for 2018
Tourism Toronto is extremely pleased to announce that Toronto has just been chosen as the host city for the 2018 Rotary International Convention, to be held from June 24-27. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local Rotary Organizing Committee and congratulate them on an admirable job. Thanks to the Rotary International Convention, Toronto will welcome over 20,000 Rotarians and their families, which will represent some 40,000 room nights in downtown and west side hotels, with an estimated direct visitor spend of $32 million. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Air Canada Centre will serve as primary venues. Financial assistance for the event was made possible by the Convention Development Fund, a joint initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, participating hotels and Tourism Toronto.

"Toronto Looks Good on You" wins award
TT’s marketing campaign from summer 2010 was the recipient of the Best Tourism Interactive Marketing award at the recent Ontario Tourism Summit. The Toronto Looks Good on You campaign featured video pods stationed at key festivals where visitors could record their Toronto experience or love for the city in a 30-second video that could be posted through Facebook, Twitter, personal YouTube channel or delivered into their email inbox for sharing with friends and family.

Sharing Toronto dreams with China
Tourism Toronto has partnered with one of China’s largest media companies to bring Luyu (known as the Oprah of China) to Toronto this week to tape episodes for her new show, Dream Sharing. The show is expected to reach a weekly audience of more than 60 million viewers beginning in December, and is also promoted extensively through daily online and social media updates to a similarly large following.

Deep in the hearts of Texans
A cover story in the travel section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram resulted from TT’s Media Relations team hosting a culinary- and wine-themed press tour this past July. The newspaper serves the fifth-largest consumer market in the U.S. and is the major daily for Dallas. The feature article has an advertising equivalency of over $110,000.

Getting in the game
The TT Sport Sales team, along with 18 members, hosted the fifth annual tradeshow luncheon at the Sport Alliance of Ontario facility on September 27. This year we wanted to “Help Kids Get in the Game!” by making a donation of over $2,000 to KidSports Ontario through a coordinated effort between TT, TT members and Ontario sport organizations. The donation will provide registration or equipment support enabling at least eight children to take part in sport this season. With twenty different provincial sport organizations participating in the event, our TT members were given a chance to get in front of 75+ attendees.

Toronto trending in Paris
TT’s Media Relations team hosted Paris-based Trends Magazine in May as part of a group press trip. As a result of that visit, Trends ran a huge eight-page feature on Toronto.

Southeastern swing
From September 26-28, the U.S. Association Sales team was in Atlanta and Nashville for a day of sales calls and hosted events sponsored by the CTC. Feedback from the Southeast market reflected the “Buy America” sentiment that is pervading the U.S. these days. Focus on secondary markets like Atlanta will remain an important part of our strategy to develop business opportunities for the community.

Mapping it out for Chinese drivers
From Sep 14-24, TT and OTMPC hosted a press trip spearheaded by Beijing Communication Radio (BCR) group, promoting driving tours through Toronto, Niagara Falls and other parts of Ontario. BCR is the most popular radio station in Beijing and reaches a young, high-value audience, eager to have new travel experiences. Other press included on the trip extended the media reach to internet, video, print and blogs and BCR drivers club has committed to working with a Chinese tour operator to promote and sell a driving package tour similar to what this press trip experienced.

Fams galore
TT’s International Leisure Trade Sales team hosted several FAMS over the past two weeks with key North American and emerging market tour operators. Voyages A+, a student tour operator from Quebec, brought 50 decision-making clients who spent three days learning about the educational opportunities in Toronto. Performing Arts Consultants from New Jersey brought five of their Festival Directors/Product Managers to experience everything possible for student and performance groups as they are receiving many enquiries from groups that want to visit the region for performance trips and as part of their spring festival dates.

For emerging markets, we hosted Mazda Travel, one of the most influential tour operators in India for two whirlwind days. They were impressed with all we have to offer Indian travellers and excited to include the region in their 2012 itineraries. As well, CTC, Ontario Tourism and TT hosted eight Canada travel specialists from Australia over two days.

What's Next

International media feast on fashion scene
With Toronto’s semi-annual L’Oreal Fashion Week set to begin, Tourism Toronto is working with the CTC and OTMPC to host a large group of international media and incentive clients, showcasing Toronto’s urban energy and emerging fashion scene. The group will experience VIP access to the runways and behind the scenes, and move beyond the fashion story to see Toronto’s exciting urban edge.

Out and about in Dallas
From October 24-26, TT and members will be in the Dallas area paying a special visit to the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 2011 Workplace Summit as we pursue its business for 2013. That visit will also be the platform for a day-and-a-half of sales calls as we continue to focus on developing our in-market relationships to drive future business opportunities.

Fan fam
At the end of October, the U.S. Association Sales team will deliver a focused group of prospective clients to the city for an engaging and interactive introduction to Toronto. The sports theme allows our guests to see both the business and fun sides of Toronto as we spend time at a local curling rink and take in a Leafs game.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Oct 15-17 International Council of Shopping Centers 2,500
Oct 17-19 Society of Manufacturing Engineers


Oct 25-31 Skate Canada 6,000
Oct 26-29 Canadian Diabetes Association


Oct 28-Nov 6 Assoc for Treatment of Sexual Abusers 1,800
Nov 6-9 Fellowship of Baptist Evangelical Churches


Nov 6-14 Assoc for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 3,600


The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced today that the Toronto Zoo along with the Calgary Zoo received its 2011 "Top Honors for North American Conservation," for their joint work on the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Program. The AZA North American Conservation Award recognizes exceptional efforts toward regional habitat preservation, species restoration and support of biodiversity in the wild. Congratulations Toronto Zoo!


We’ve Been Expecting You
Registration is now open for fall WBEY training sessions. The program is designed to further instil a culture of hospitality excellence throughout the city so that visitors feel welcomed, informed and well-treated while in Toronto. Two FREE sessions are offered this fall:

Front-Line - Thursday, November 3:
Prepares participants to welcome visitors, guests and customers to their organization and city. This classroom session is a half-day – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Train-the-Trainer - Tuesday, November 8: Provides the knowledge and tools for the participant to return to their organization and teach the program to other team members.  This classroom session is a full-day, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visit to download your registration form or call or email for more information: 416-392-9577 or

Tourism Toronto can also provide WBEY training
Watch for a notice about future training dates. If your company would like Tourism Toronto to come out and conduct a training session at your business just let us know. Contact Denise Belgrove in the Member Care department.

On-Line coupon program
Calling all Attractions/Sightseeing, Theatre/Special Exhibits, Dining and Shopping/Retail members. Be part of the Tourism Toronto on-line coupon program which allows you to showcase your establishment to a broader visitor group. The on-line coupons are promoted to Tourism Toronto client attendees coming to the city for meetings and conventions, vacation packages, sports and other unique events. Contra will support TT’s Relax, Recharge, Renew program.

Contact Denise Belgrove in the Member Care department for more information.

Welcome New Members

Opera Atelier

Meeting Services
à la Cart Kitchen Inc.
Boss Promotions
JGK Integrated Solutions
Pinpoint National Photography

The Franklin House

About Tourism Now
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Please contact Cathy Riches via with your thoughts and suggestions.

Tourism Toronto is the sales and marketing organization for Greater Toronto's diverse and compelling tourism experiences, representing 1,200 member businesses. Visit us at

Tourism Toronto is located at 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1A7.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association

To January 2012
Archaeology of Godin Tepe

To Oct 22
Art of Time’s - I Send You This Cadmium Red
Berkeley Street Theatre

Oct 15
International Bicycle Show
Direct Energy Centre

Oct 16
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Start: University & Adelaide

Oct 17-21
LG Fashion Week
David Pecaut Square

Oct 18 2011-Jan 15, 2012
Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde

Oct 19-30
International Festival of Authors
Harbourfront Centre

Oct 20
De Ling and Empress Dowager CiXi Cantopera
Living Arts Centre

Oct 21-23
Creativ Festival

Oct 24-31
Church Wellesley Village

Oct 26-Nov 6
Bharati - The Wonder That Is India
Sony Centre

Oct 28-30
Global Cabaret Festival
Distillery District

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

"…Toronto morphed into a style capital that rivals anything south of the border. The city teems with laid-back urbanites who've spent the past few years turning hardware stores into rustic-looking cocktail bars, stocking boutiques with our favorite labels, and dressing to kill."

— GQ, September 2011





Did you know?
Toronto-based Joe Fresh retail fashion store is opening multiple locations in New York this fall.