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TOURISM NOW - November 9, 2011




  • TT launches "See Toronto" app
  • Snowmen enliven Torontoland
  • Register for TT's Holiday Celebrations

Tourism Snapshot

A recent study by Compete, Inc. highlights the growing use of mobile devices by travellers. Some of the study’s most notable findings include:

  • 38 per cent of smartphone owners conduct at least some of their leisure travel research on their mobile device.
  • 27 per cent of smartphone owners conduct at least some of their leisure travel bookings using their smartphone.
  • 34 per cent of smartphone owners felt they were likely to use their mobile devices on their next trip to find information about their destination while traveling. Furthermore, 25 per cent were likely to research lodging options.
  • 20 per cent of smartphone owners who have downloaded an app have downloaded a travel app.



Seeing Toronto has just gotten a little easier
Tourism Toronto launched the “See Toronto” app on iTunes on November 1. The free download is a handy guide to restaurants, attractions, shopping and events across Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, developed in conjunction with The app is currently available for Apple products (iPhones, etc.) and will soon be available for Androids and Windows Phones. Please download yours today and share the link with friends, family and clients!

Showcasing Toronto at Showcase Canada
TT’s International Leisure Trade Sales team, together with 12 members, participated in the Canadian Tourism Commission-sponsored Showcase Canada – Asia 2011 in Busan, Korea in mid-October. One hundred and seventy eight tour operators from India, China, Korea and Japan, along with 16 journalists attended the week-long marketplace. TT conducted over 190 appointments and will be following up with leads generated as a result of the meetings with these trade clients.

New York media event results roll in
As a result of a recent media mission to New York City, Food Editor spoke with Chef Peter George of 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower who was featured in her recent posting that reaches over 3,700,000 unique readers online monthly.

Snowmen invade Toronto!

TT’s multi-dimensional Holiday marketing campaign is in full swing with the “ambassadors” being seven-foot tall, artfully designed snowmen at 17 different locations around Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. Social, online and traditional media are all being engaged to promote “Torontoland” hotel packages and discounts, culminating in a donation to the Starlight Foundation on December 20.

Snowmen in Torontoland

Tasting Toronto
For four days in October, TT’s Media Relations team hosted a “luxe eats” press tour for Canadian and U.S.-based food and travel writers from such publications as Calgary’s City Palate Magazine, London Free Press, and Sherman"s Travel. The attending media ate their way through Toronto, experiencing a combination of high-end restaurants and unique sites such as the St. Lawrence market, Steam Whistle Brewery, a walk-in cheese vault at the Cheese Boutique and the Evergreen Brick Works.

Go west
Nine TT members joined a Western Canada sales mission in early November, to bring the message that Toronto is “the right fit” for meetings and conventions, via fitness-themed client events in Calgary.

TIFF prompts travel writing
A film critic for El Mercurio newspaper based in Chile, attended the Toronto International Film Festival as TT’s guest and took time out from seeing films to do some sightseeing. The resultant cover story on Toronto ran in the Sunday magazine on October 23. El Mercurio is Chile's premier daily newspaper and reaches more households than any other print media in the country.

Unearthing hidden event gems
TT’s Canadian Corporate and Ontario Association Sales teams hosted key local client administrators and meeting planners for two full days of site visits at some off-the-beaten-path restaurants and event spaces. Groups were hosted by Mengrai Gourmet Thai, the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon in the Toronto Reference Library with Marigold and Onions and the Sweet Grass Spa. Feedback at the end of each day was very positive as local event planners were surprised at the number of venues available that they were not aware of.

Toronto is “where the girls are”
On the heels of hosting Curve Magazine in May 2011, Toronto and some LGBT hot spots have been vibrantly featured. Reaching 70,000 readers in this valuable market, the article has a $17,000 advertising equivalency.

Front and centre with Canadian association executives
On October 4, TT was featured as a major sponsor and co-host at the recent CSAE Trillium Chapter AGM and Awards Dinner in Toronto. The lighthearted evening offered the opportunity to give an entertaining and exciting look at our city via a video featuring Rick Mercer and Jan Arden from the Edge Walk at the CN Tower.

Welcoming Quebecois
A representative from TT’s International Leisure Trade Sales team, together with 20 member companies, was in Gatineau, Quebec from October 24-27 to attend the Bienvenue Quebec Tour Operator Marketplace. This annual trade event brings Quebec and U.S. east coast-based tour operators together for timed appointments with suppliers. During the marketplace session, staff met with 50 trade clients focused on student, youth, senior and adult group travel and is following up with leads for 2012 business opportunities.

Government meeting planners lured with treats
October 20 saw the return of TT’s Sweet Treats Mini Trade Show in partnership with downtown members. This event is a big hit with the 150+ government administrators that look forward to hearing about what is new in the downtown core for meeting space, hotels, travel and other services.

What's Next

Capital client event
In what has become a tradition for both members and Canadian clients, TT will be hosting its annual High Value Account client event in Ottawa on November 24. With the strong enthusiasm shown by members, great Toronto region food and live entertainment, and 100 key Canadian Association, federal government and Canadian union meeting planners set to attend again this year, the night promises to be a productive one.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (400+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Nov 6-14 Assoc for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 3,600
Nov 8-14 Coaching Association of Canada


Nov 13-16 Critical Care Canada Forum 1,000
Nov 18-20 Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors


Nov 27-30 Canadian Cancer Research 400
Jan 24-30 Shoppers Drug Mart



Carolina Avaria, Chef Concierge of the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville and Vice-President, Les Clefs d’Or Canada, was named Concierge of the Year for all of InterContinental Hotels Americas Zone (South, Central and North). Carolina received this award in front of 6,000 colleagues in attendance at IHG’s International Hotel congress recently held in Las Vegas. Our warm congratulations to Carolina!

Concierge of the Year

Partners in Project Green recently announced the recipients of the 2011 Partners in Project Green Sustainability Awards and The International Centre won the Partners in Project Green Leadership in Sustainability, Hospitality Award. From implementing its Sustainable Procurement Checklist and signing on to the Greening Greater Toronto's Commitment to Buy Green, to its commitment to providing local foods, the International Centre has worked to be a leader in procurement practices.


The inaugural 2011/2012 ORHMA (Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association) Toronto Restaurant Awards will honour industry professionals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Toronto restaurant industry. Nominations are being accepted now.

Date: January 24, 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Palais Royale

Further information can be found on the website or by contacting Jason Cheskes, ORHMA Toronto Region President, at Proceeds raised will go toward establishing an endowment fund for the students of The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College.


Share some holiday cheer
We hope to see you at the Tourism Toronto Holiday Celebration on December 20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Please RSVP via the evite you received. Again this year, your $5 donation/registration fee will benefit the Fort York Food Bank. N.B. This is a monetary donation only and we cannot accept food item donations at the door. Ring in the season with hors d’oeuvres, drinks, brief remarks and about 1,000 of your fellow members.

Member Orientation
A BIG THANK YOU to all of our new members who recently came to our office to experience Member Orientation. We hope you learned a lot about how you can network with fellow members, use our Extranet, upload pictures, edit your content and how to reach various staff members and more. If you missed this one, watch for an invitation to the next session early next year.

Welcome New Members

Hotel Indigo Toronto Airport

JJ Private Residences & Suites

Mississauga Marathon

Quartz Crystal Spa

Tasty Tours

Textile Museum of Canada

Meeting Services
The Canadian Institute

Stock Restaurant

Suits Bar

The Shore Club

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

Nov 10 - Jan 8
Mary Poppins
Princess of Wales Theatre

Nov 9 - 19
Lang Lang Plays Beethoven
Roy Thomson Hall

Nov 12
West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson
McMichael Canadian Art Collection

To Nov 13
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Exhibition Place

To Nov 13
Signals from the DEW Line
Gladstone Hotel

Nov 16-27
Dancap's Addams Family
Toronto Centre for the Arts

Nov 16-20
The Last Resort
Rose Theatre

Nov 16-27
National Ballet"s Romeo & Juliet
Four Seasons Centre

Nov 17
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
The Opera House

Nov 19
Bloor-Yorkville Lighting Ceremony
Village of Yorkville Park

Nov 20
Koffler Chamber Orchestra: Chagall"s Musical World
AGO - Walker Court

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

"Fun app, very clean looking and easy to navigate. I appreciated the restaurant listings by proximity."

— Customer review of See Toronto app





Did you know?
According to Forrester Research, though just 22 per cent of all U.S. online adults have a smartphone, 35 per cent of U.S. online leisure travellers and 55 per cent of U.S. business travellers use mobile devices.