Please add Tourism Toronto News ( to your safe senders' list.
That way you will receive Tourism Now fully formatted and with images intact every time.


Photo: Queen Street West, Audree Atendido

Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting is on May 21 at Ontario Place (Cinesphere for the meeting and business update, Atlantis Pavilions for the networking reception) at 3:00 p.m. Please click here for the registration form. More details and the registration link are repeated below in the Member Focus section.


  • Spreading the word in Argentina & Brazil
  • Toronto Magazine goes global
  • The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association coming to town
  • AGM registration is open

Recent surveys have shown that the perception of Toronto as a "green" city by meeting planners and their clients is taking root, giving us a competitive edge in attracting conventions to the destination. Below are two significant survey results:
  • 75 per cent of Tourism Toronto's meeting clients are more likely to do business with a CVB or venue that is actively improving the environmental performance of meetings and events [Tourism Toronto Client Services Survey 2008]
  • In a list of 46 North American cities, Toronto ranks 8th among all meeting planners surveyed and 2nd among prospective clients as most able to deliver a "green" meeting [Watkins Research 2008]

Argentina and Brazil: On the Ground in Growth Markets
Tourism Toronto Media Relations and Leisure Trade representatives, together with seven member companies and Air Canada, are in Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo this week meeting with tour operators, corporate clients, and consumer and trade media as we look to bolster the work of TT’s in-market representatives and develop both the business and leisure travel trade from these growing markets.

Toronto Magazine Now Featured in Air Canada Lounges Worldwide
Beginning in May, Tourism Toronto's flagship publication, Toronto Magazine, will be available in all 20 Air Canada lounges around the world, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Ottawa. The magazine showcases Toronto's cosmopolitan energy and includes member listings, and represents significant added value for members who advertise in the magazine. This new targeted distribution reaches affluent, frequent travellers, sparking interest in Toronto as a travel destination.

Cathay's Clients Discover Toronto
In the March issue of Discovery Magazine, Toronto is featured in a six-page spread. Discovery is Cathay Pacific Airlines' in-flight publication with a circulation of 212,500 (potential readership 1,614,000). The article has an equivalent advertising value of $131,458.

Capital Sporting Event
Tourism Toronto's MC&IT Sport team attended the 2009 Sport Events Congress, Canada's largest annual gathering of sport, tourism professionals and event management firms from April 14-16. Over 300 delegates participated in the Ottawa-area event and the TT team targeted key national sport organizations at the Sport Event Exchange, a business-to-business events marketplace where event rights holders and tourism representatives had an opportunity to meet one-on-one to discuss upcoming bid opportunities for sporting events.

Bestest of the Greenest
Two TT members have been named Canada's Greenest Employers for 2009. Fairmont Hotels and Zerofootprint are among the exclusive group due to their unique environmental initiatives, how much they have reduced their environmental footprint and the degree to which their employees participate, among other criteria. Congratulations!

More Foodies Feast on Toronto
From April 1-5 Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team and its partners hosted another group of food and wine media from the U.S. and Mexico City including, Plate Magazine,, Creator's Syndicate, Women's World and others showcasing Toronto's culinary scene. The group experienced tastings with some of Toronto's top chefs and also got a chance to shop for ingredients with a chef in Chinatown, Kensington and St. Lawrence Market.

Toronto Restaurants Get With the Program
Ocean Wise is a program run by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and its Canadian partner, Vancouver Aquarium, aimed at promoting sustainable seafood practices. Several Toronto restaurants (and TT members) have stepped up to support the practice by becoming Ocean Wise certified. Kudos go to C5, Fairmont Royal York's Epic and Trios in the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre.

Mexico Reads All About Us
As a result of Tourism Toronto's media reception in Mexico City last month, coverage has been pouring in, including results in Personae magazine, El Universal newspaper, El Financiero newspaper, Buen Viaje magazine, Quien magazine, Imagen radio show, Reforma newspaper, and more. Readership/listenership adds up to over 500,000.

Toronto Hotels Get Noticed
The New York Times Magazine recently focused on Toronto's hip side in "The Inn Crowd" which featured the Gladstone and Drake hotels in an interesting two-page spread.

The Gladstone Hotel was also named in National Geographic Traveler's "129 Hotels We Love" for its "exuberant rooms designed by local artists; outrageous karaoke nights; and hand-operated Victorian elevator."

Another prestigious publication has recognized a handful of Toronto properties. The Fairmont Royal York, Windsor Arms, Delta Chelsea, Gladstone and Gloucester Square Inns were all recommended in the Daily Telegraph's (U.K.) Toronto city guide.

Scotland Reached
The timing is right as a journalist that Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team hosted last year during Luminato, recently featured Toronto and the festival in the Daily Record's travel section. The Daily Record is a Glasgow-based daily newspaper with a circulation of 350,000.

Toronto Welcomes IGLTA Convention May 7-10
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is a growing organization (1000+ members) of gay, lesbian and "community-friendly" worldwide travel professionals. This event offers a number of opportunities for networking, education and participating including a public trade show at the Maple Leaf Gardens and a highly anticipated silent auction where tourism products or services can be introduced to this distinctive marketplace. Our members are encouraged to go to IGLTA's website for more information on how to take part in this exciting event.

Meeting Professionals in the Midwest
On April 29 the Greater Midwest Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association and the Meeting Planners International Chicago Area Chapter will come together to host their 3rd annual joint spring education conference. Tourism Toronto is a key sponsor as part of "Team Canada" along with Tourism Alberta, Tourisme Montreal, Tourisme Quebec and Tourism Vancouver. This growing event attracts more than 250 meeting professionals with a mix of association and corporate planners, reflecting the two organizations' core memberships.

Targeting Association Executives
Toronto will be well-represented on April 24 at the Maryland Society of Association Executives annual tradeshow in Baltimore, Maryland. This event regularly attracts more than 150 of the leading association professionals in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (400+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Apr 21-26 Registered Nurses Association of Ontario 400
Apr 21-27 Canadian Lung Association 2,000
Apr 24-28 Ontario Cooperative Education Association 1,500
Apr 25-29 Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Awards 1,300
Apr 25-29 Canadian Association for Practical Study of Law in Education 500
Apr 26-29 MediaCorp Canada Inc - Top Employer Summit 500
Apr 29-May 4 Cancer Research Institute at Queen's University 1,000

Registration is now open for Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting on May 21 at Ontario Place. Please join us for the meeting (registration opens at 2:00 p.m., meeting starts at 3:00 p.m.) for an update on Tourism Toronto's sales and marketing activities for 2009, and networking with industry peers afterward at Atlantis Pavilions, also at Ontario Place. Over 600 members are expected to attend so be sure to register soon. Further details and the registration form are here.

Member Events
If you are a new hotel employee or just need a refresher on how to get the most out of your association membership, please join us on April 30, 2009 for a Member Orientation session designed specifically for hotel employees. Online registration is still open.

On April 8, 2009 over 100 members gathered at City Hall Council Chamber to learn about some of Toronto’s largest festivals and events. Thank you to City of Toronto Special Events, Caribana, Luminato, Toronto International Film Festival and Word on the Street.

Last week, Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team held a member workshop on media relations strategies, attended by more than 100 members. The workshop provided practical tips for low-cost PR strategies and an expert panel including the Toronto Star Travel Editor and a prominent travel writer and magazine editor.

Golf Anyone?
Tourism Toronto and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) have teamed up to co-host the GTHA Annual Golf Tournament scheduled on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club, 8525 Mississauga Road, Brampton. If you are interested in playing, registration is open. To showcase your business, some great sponsorship opportunities are available.

(N.B. Tourism Toronto will not be holding its annual golf event in September this year.)

Tourism Toronto appreciates the impact our industry can have, both positive and otherwise, on our local community and beyond. As a result, we have a wide variety of programs that improve our own performance and also encourage our members and partners to increase sustainable practices.

Internally we have reviewed our paper, kitchen and other supplies and have switched to goods that have a lesser environmental impact. In addition, Tourism Toronto bought 400 tonnes of carbon offsets in 2008 to cover all air travel for staff, visiting clients and media. The carbon offsets are reinvested by Carbon Zero in Canadian projects that reduce CO2 emissions.

Visit our green site to find out more details about our programs, as well as green tourism activities and our industry members who are leading the field in sustainable practices. If you would like to add your company to our list of green members please forward a PDF or web link of your green initiatives to

Lou Seiler, Director of Marketing for Casa Loma, recently received the Butler Award, the highest honour of the Ontario Accommodation Association (OAA), at the association's 60th Anniversary Convention Honours Banquet, March 30. The Butler Award is given to an individual who has made a dedicated and outstanding contribution to Ontario's accommodation industry. Lou Seiler served two years as the volunteer Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario in its formative years. He was also Chair for the Tourism Federation of Ontario in its last two years. Founded in 1949, the OAA is Canada's largest provincial non-profit association specializing in innkeepers.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Until May 10
Book of the Dead
Royal Ontario Museum

Until May 24
COC's La Boheme, Simon Boccanegra, Midsummer Night's Dream
Four Seasons Centre

Until June 28
Jersey Boys
Toronto Centre for the Arts

Apr 24
20-Minute Toronto Makeover
City of Toronto

Apr 24-26
Good Food Festival
International Centre

Apr 26
Go Local: Earth Day
Toronto Botanical Gardens

Apr 30-May 2
Michel Bérubé
The Fleck Theatre

Apr 30-May 10
Hot Docs
Various venues

Apr 30 & May 1
Diana Krall
Massey Hall

May 6-22
Lula Lounge

May 7
Spring Ting
Hershey Centre

May 9
Yousuf Karsh Talk and Tour
McMichael Canadian Art Collection

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"From the beach in this peaceful wilderness you can look back to the city lights as Toronto settles down for dinner - it's another reminder that the city is very good at respecting its environment, while continuing business as usual."

— From "Green Giant" in U.K.-based Business Traveller magazine, January 2009


Did you know? Toronto uses a Deep Lake Water Cooling system to cool many downtown buildings including the ACC, the MTCC and Steam Whistle Brewery?
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Email us at 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.