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TOURISM NOW
TOURISM NOWAPRIL 14, 2010

Photo: The Broadway cast of Rock of Ages - by Joan Marcus


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • Londoners read all about "cosmopolitan" Toronto
  • Sales and media missions in Brazil and Argentina
  • Meetings and conventions media tour Toronto
  • Leveraging opportunities in student and youth market

TOURISM SNAPSHOT
Hotel occupancy rates in Toronto are showing modest increases over last year, as the industry starts to recover from 2009.
 
  Occupancy (‰) Change (‰)
Month of February 2010 61.3 +8.5
YTD January-February 2010 57.4 +4.1
 


HIGHLIGHTS
Major League Soccer Championships Coming to Town
For the first time in history the MLS championship game will be played outside of the U.S. and they have chosen Toronto. Maple Leaf Sports announced the game scheduled for November 21 at BMO Field. The City of Toronto's investment in BMO field is proving again to be a worthwhile investment as it hosts yet another major event and thousands of fans who will, in addition to taking in the game, visit attractions and patronize restaurants and bars. For a clip of a story run on Global news about the benefits to the destination, click here.

Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Toronto is prominently featured in the May issue of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine, which is a supplement to the London Times newspaper. The six-page article cites Toronto as the latest hot spot for a "city break" for Londoners and highlights hip clubs, shopping and diverse dining.

Leisure Trade Missions in Brazil and Argentina
Tourism Toronto's Leisure Trade team, along with our in-market rep and 12 members, recently attended the CTC-sponsored B2B Marketplace held in Sao Paulo, Brazil with 34 key Brazilian trade clients in attendance. Following the B2B marketplace, TT along with our members and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, exhibited within the Canada Stand at the Braztoa Tradeshow held in Sao Paulo. As a result of these sales initiatives, TT is in the process of finalizing a joint marketing program with five Brazilian tour operators, the Niagara Parks Commission, Ottawa Tourism, Montreal Tourism and the CTC to drive 2010 summer business.

Representatives from the Leisure Trade team along with in-market representatives in Argentina, also recently conducted sales calls in Buenos Aires. Ten key Argentine tour operators were visited and as a result of these meetings, a group including several of the operators, AC Argentina and TT, is developing a joint marketing program to help increase package tours and leisure travel business to Toronto and other key eastern cities this summer.

Major Media Event in Buenos Aires
TT's Media Relations team staged a delicious media reception for more than 50 high-profile Argentinian press on March 23. The interactive culinary event invited journalists to be chefs for the evening and cook up culinary creations with recipes provided by Chef Anthony Walsh of Canoe Restaurant in Toronto. The cooking was led by renowned Argentine Chef Dolli Irigoyen who made a surprise appearance to cook alongside the press. Initial coverage of the event can be found here.

Tourism and U.S. Dollar Parity
A recent article in the Toronto Star, with extensive commentary from a Tourism Toronto spokesperson, outlines some of the strategy TT and its partners will be employing to adjust to "the new normal" of Canadian and U.S. dollar parity. The Toronto Star article was picked up by a number of other prominent news outlets and TT also provided commentary about the issue to CityTV news, CityPulse and the Globe and Mail.

Meetings Media Converge on Toronto
TT's Media Relations team recently hosted a press trip of key meetings and conventions journalists. Seven writers from meetings publications in the U.S., U.K., Austria, Germany, Belgium and Mexico enjoyed the sights and sites of Toronto. We'll be updating you on the results of this visit in the coming months.

Online Coverage in China
TT's Media Relations team garnered extensive online coverage about Toronto's current building boom via a news release. The story was published by over 50 websites and blogs including massive news outlets such as Sina, Sohu, North China online, China business online and China.com, to name just a few!

WHAT'S NEXT
Targeting the Student and Youth Market
Tourism Toronto and partners are taking steps to publicize a little-known provision in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). The "Special Groups" provision allows U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 19 to travel between the two countries without a passport. To take advantage of this exception, Tourism Toronto and 12 members placed a two-page full-colour advertisement in the May issue of Teach & Travel, the official student travel magazine of the Student and Youth Travel Association.



Canadian Sport Industry Builder of the Year
TT's Sport sales team is proud to have President & CEO David Whitaker represent Tourism Toronto as a finalist for the Canadian Sport Tourism (CSTA) Industry Builder of the Year. The CSTA 2010 PRESTIGE Awards celebrates the people, places and events that make the Canadian sport tourism industry a dynamic and important part of the economic fabric of our communities. The finalists will be honoured at the CSTA 2010 PRESTIGE Awards gala luncheon at the CSTA's Sport Events Congress on April 22 in Toronto.

China Bound
Tourism Toronto and 15 members are in China the week of April 12-17 meeting with over 60 Chinese trade clients during the CTC Showcase China Marketplace. The Canadian and Chinese governments are working toward the signing of an Approved Destination Status agreement within the year which would enable Canadian tourism suppliers to work with Chinese tour operators and travel agents to actively market and sell leisure travel to Canada and Toronto. Visitors to TT's booth will receive the new Toronto Visitor Guide in Mandarin.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (700+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Apr 15-19 MissionFest Toronto 1,000
Apr 15-28 American College of Physicians-Amer Society of Internal Medicine 10,000
Apr 22-26 U13 Bantam Boys Ontario Cup 2,000
Apr 24-29 Ontario Long Term Care Association 1,500
Apr 26-30 Aboriginal Human Resource Council 700
Apr 30-May 5 American Association for Thoracic Surgery 4,000
May 4-8 Diversified Business Communications 1,400


PEOPLE & PLACES
TIAC Has a New President and CEO
David Goldstein has taken the reins at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada effective April 5. Mr. Goldstein brings over 18 years of experience in the media industry, the last 12 years in senior advocacy roles.

Carry On
The government of Canada recently announced it has restored carry-on luggage allowances for passengers travelling to the United States. Effective April 8, passengers travelling from Canada to the U.S. are once again permitted to bring two carry-on bags and one personal item on board aircraft. The size requirements for the bags remain the same. More information may be found in the official Transport Canada news release.

INDUSTRY EVENTS
40th Anniversary of Humber's Hotel and Restaurant Management Program
Humber College is inviting alumnae of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program to reconnect at its 40th anniversary gala. The event will be held at Humber's North Campus on Thursday, April 22. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Humber Room. To RSVP please contact Crystal Pole-Langdon at 416-675-6622 ext. 5194 or email crystal.pole-langdon@humber.ca.

MEMBER FOCUS
Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members

Attractions
Mirvish Village BIA
Royal Conservatory

Meeting Facilities
Andrew Richard Designs
The Conference Centre at the OBA

Meeting Services
dm digital +1

Restaurants
The Q

Transportation
Chessington Transportation Consultants

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
  Apr 10-Jun 13
Spring Visual Arts Exhibit
York Quay Centre

Apr 15
Word Jazz: Don Francks Live in Concert
Lula Lounge

Apr 16-18
The British Isles Show
Queen Elizabeth Building

Apr 17-23
Sprockets Film Festival
Various locations

Apr 18
Lord of the Dance
Living Arts Centre

Apr 20
Rock of Ages
Royal Alexandra Theatre

Apr 23 & 24
La Otra Orilla Flamenco Troupe
Enwave Theatre

Apr 24-May 20
The Flying Dutchman
Four Seasons Centre

Apr 24
Hawksley Workman
Massey Hall

Apr 25
Jaffa Road w/Yair Dala
Hugh's Room

Apr 29-May 9
Hot Docs
Various locations

Extended to May 2
King Tut
Art Gallery of Ontario

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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"The Sunset Strip in the 1980s is the setting for this absurdly enjoyable jukebox musical weaving more than two dozen arena-rock hits from the glory years of MTV."

New York Times review of Rock of Ages
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TOOLKIT
EVENT CALENDAR

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TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know? The first electrically lit public building in Toronto was a theatre, the Princess Theatre, built in 1895. The Princess stood on the south side of King St. until it was torn down to make way for the extension of University Ave. from King to Front.
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Please contact Cathy Riches via newsletter@torcvb.com with
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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 www.SeeTorontoNow.com.

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