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Toronto Raptors, Courtesy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.

Message from the President & CEO of Tourism Toronto

On behalf of our Board of Directors, our many partners and the entire staff team, I would like to invite you and encourage you to attend Tourism Toronto's AGM on Tuesday, May 31 beginning at 3:00 p.m. As noted in the official invitation, our hosts this year are Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment at both the meeting venue (Air Canada Centre) as well as a rather unique "after-party" at the amazing new Real Sports Bar & Grill. For those of you who have yet to experience Real Sports Bar & Grill, you are in for quite a treat as our members and friends will have full access to this amazing entertainment venue.

The working theme of this year's AGM is "Reaching Higher" and among the many elements of the meeting will be both a look at some of the significant accomplishments that Toronto as a meetings and leisure destination has achieved and, more importantly, a conversation about what lies ahead and our collective goals and efforts to climb even higher as a leading destination.

We will be recognizing the leadership of our stellar Board of Directors as well as the formal duty of introducing our membership to the new slate of Board Members to be elected for the next term. Our Board Chair, David Ogilvie, will be presenting his Chairman's Report including his vision for the coming year. Tourism Toronto's Senior Management Team will be sharing a few highlights of the real priorities for each of our departments in the year to come - with a real emphasis on how you as a member partner can benefit.

No AGM would be complete without a few surprises and special announcements so I will leave that to your imagination for now. We will also have the honour of a special welcome from our great champion and friend, the Honourable Michael Chan of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture.

Registration is a nominal $5.00, but do know that all proceeds from this will be donated to the good works of MLSE's Team Up Foundation, serving children and youth in this community. And in exchange - a complimentary drink ticket will give you a chance to toast and network with your fellow members at Real Sports Bar & Grill.

I again encourage you to take full advantage of the networking opportunity to meet and exchange with close to 900 fellow Tourism Toronto members - and based on registrations in to date, it would appear the choice of the Air Canada Centre and the Real Sports Bar & Grill is a wise one indeed.

So do plan on joining us. We Are Expecting You! And pass on our warm invitation to your co-workers, colleagues and friends.

If you have yet to respond, feel free to click here to register.

Many Thanks

David Whitaker

David Whitaker


  • Earth Day event
  • A bounty of media coverage
  • Going after international sports business
  • Free training sessions for "We've Been Expecting You"

Earth Day brings out the best in the tourism industry
Over 150 volunteers from the tourism industry came together last Thursday for a unique and worthwhile initiative in celebration of Earth Day. Tourism Toronto, along with 11 hotel and convention organizations, partnered with the Toronto Zoo to plant 10,000 saplings for a natural food source for Zoo animals. The "browse plantation" is a first in Canada and TT is proud to have been part of furthering the sustainability of our community.

Ay que bueno
Toronto is a gourmet paradise according to Cuisine & Vins magazine out of Argentina. As a result of a press tour Tourism Toronto hosted late last summer, the magazine included a six-page spread on Toronto and its food scene in the March 2011 issue. This upscale publication reaches 20,000 foodie subscribers, with a readership of 93,000 monthly. Cuisine & Vins magazine can be found in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico and Miami.

Argentina's hip Barzon magazine has captured urban Toronto in an article that ran in the February 2011 issue. Barzon magazine focuses on design and lifestyle and caters to upscale, active, urban readers.

Making Toronto's pitch on the international sport scene
TT's Sport Sales team took part in a 10-Canadian city effort in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission and CSTA from April 4-7 in London, England selling Canada to International Sport Federations. Just over 1,500 sport organizations were representing their International Federations while taking part in a tradeshow, networking and education sessions. Toronto was of interest to many delegates with the build up to the Pan Am Games in 2015.

More sports, closer to home
The Sport team also attended the NASC (National Association of Sport Commissions) Sports Event Symposium in Greensboro, N.C. from April 11-14. NASC is the #1 organization in the Sport Tourism Industry. This year's event had record breaking attendance with 670 delegates of which 163 were new faces representing 400 organizations. The team conducted 16 one-on-one appointments with key event rights holders, and positioned Toronto as a premiere sport destination. The team also actively participated in education sessions, networking functions and completed another Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) module as part of keeping their CSEE designation current.

Media meet market
TT's Media Relations team just completed the Canadian Tourism Commission's annual Canada Media Marketplace in New York City for U.S. travel media. TT hosted 38 scheduled meetings with top U.S. regional and national media outlets, and made dozens of additional connections through networking events throughout the marketplace.

East meets West
TT, along with the west region association sales managers, hosted a number of East Toronto meeting planners, executive assistants and directors through a mini trade show held at the Ontario Science Centre on April 13. The enthusiastic attendees, representing a potential of over 100 yearly meetings, with anywhere from 25-100 attendees each, and approximately 50- 300 room nights per event for the GTA west region, enjoyed an informal, informative visit with each partner and networking among the group.

Brazilian Ball lures luxury media
Brazil-based REDE TV network was in town for the glamorous Brazilian Ball as well as to film the destination for upcoming segments that will air on the Amaury Jr. Show. One of the most viewed TV shows throughout Brazil, with an upscale audience, the program shot several luxury segments in the city, including fashion and shopping. In addition, the hostess was photographed on location for future features for the likes of Caras magazine (equivalent to People magazine). Similar efforts during last year's Ball resulted in a 10-page spread in the February 2011 issue of Caras both online and in print.

Tapping the corporate market in South America
From April 6-13, TT's International Corporate team travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sao Paolo, Brazil for a week of sales calls, presentations and overall market research. Since TT began playing a proactive role in developing international corporate business, the focus has expanded from Europe to include potentially lucrative markets such as South America. During the sales trip, TT met with over 25 meeting professionals and 10 partners (Air Canada and local Canadian government officials) and has discovered a new market potential for the incentive business to Toronto and region.

Harnessing the Windy City
A representative of TT's International Leisure Trade sales division, along with 10 member companies, recently returned from a sales mission to Chicago and surrounding area to meet with tour operators who sell a mixture of adult FIT/group, student travel and LGBT market programs. This sales trip is in line with TT's U.S. key cities strategy to broaden distribution channels in markets that have growth potential from high-value consumers. Chicago is proving to be a potential expansion market for Toronto and many of the operators visited are in the process of bringing their first group travellers to Toronto this spring and summer resulting in future business for members on this mission.

JUNO coverage
One of Mexico's largest daily newspapers, Reforma, took full editorial advantage of a recent trip to Toronto during the JUNO awards to publish multiple articles about music stars and the red carpet scene.

Urban European media
TT's Media Relations team, in partnership with Air Canada, hosted five writers from Paris to discover Toronto from March 30-April 3. The group explored key attractions, neighbourhoods and restaurants that define Toronto.

As a result of Media Relations' trip to Milan in early March, TTG Italia covered the team's visit to Milan. TTG magazine is a travel trade publication with destination-focused features and tips on how to sell travel products more effectively.

Mixing it up New York style
Tourism Toronto's Corporate and Association sales team is attending NYMIX (New York Meetings Industry Exchange) on April 27 in New York City. NYMIX is a signature event of Meeting Professionals International Greater New York Chapter that provides the setting for a single day of education and valuable networking opportunities. 300 event professionals and industry suppliers gather from the tri-state area to gain insight into the latest practices and connect with peers.

Sport rivalry fuels opportunities
TT's Sports Sales team joins forces with hotel members to entertain high-value clients at the Toronto FC vs. FC Edmonton match on May 4. Building and maintaining key client relationships is the best game plan for more wins. What better way to show the region's advantages than with Canada's finest athletes keeping us on the edge of our seats for what's sure to be a battle of national proportions!

Corporate Sales deepens its reach in the U.S.
From May 3-5, the U.S. Corporate Sales team will be going to Houston, Texas to attend "Collaborate Marketplace." This new show is an innovative, appointment-only trade show designed specifically with corporate meeting planners' needs in mind. The "reverse" trade show style streamlines the planning process, saving time and money. With over 300 corporate and third party planners in attendance and 66 appointments, we should do very well in creating new interest and new business in our region.

Aboriginal culture awareness session
On May 3, TT will be offering the second part of "Building Aboriginal Business Relationships: Exploring Aboriginal Culture." Partnering with us again on this is Tap Resources, and this second workshop is designed to take us further into the Aboriginal cultural experience and communications practices.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (600+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Apr 27-May 1 National Events/Masters of Music 2011 800
Apr 28-30 Ontario Dental Association 8,500
Apr 28-May 1 National Cancer Institute of Canada 880
May 3- 5 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 1,200
May 4-7 Diversified Business Communications 1,400
May 7-11 Biotechnology Industry Organization World Congress 1,500
May 12-15 Etobicoke Basketball Association U16 Major Midget Boys 1,200

We ARE Expecting You
A new hospitality excellence program - We've Been Expecting You - developed by the City of Toronto, with the support of Tourism Toronto and the Province of Ontario, is launching in May. The program is designed to further instill a culture of hospitality excellence throughout the city so that visitors feel welcomed, informed and well-treated while in Toronto.

The program is free of charge and available to members of the hospitality, tourism and service sectors.

We've Been Expecting You is a multi-phase, multi-pronged program designed to help unify the service industry by enhancing visitors' experience of Toronto, motivating return trips and engaging with locals and is now accepting registrations for the following sessions:

Front-Line sessions prepare participants to welcome visitors, guests and customers to their organization and city. Front-Line classroom sessions run half days, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 17
  • Monday, May 30
  • Tuesday, June 14
  • Wednesday, June 22
Train-the-Trainer sessions provide the knowledge and tools for the participant to return to their organization and teach the program to other team members. In addition to the program core-content, a module on how to deliver the WBEY program is included in this session. Train-the-Trainer classroom sessions run full days - 9:00am to 4:30pm.
  • Thursday, May 26
  • Thursday, June 2
  • Thursday, June 23
  • Tuesday, June 28
For more information or to register for a WBEY session contact:
Carrie Grant

Welcome New Members

Glenn Gould Studio

Meeting Services
Tour Tax Refunds

ZOE Alliance Inc.


Burrito Boyz (Queensway)

Neubacher Shor Contemporary – The Venue

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
  To June 12
Lion King
Princess of Wales Theatre

To July 3
Edward Burtynsky: Oil

Apr 29-May 1
Good Food Festival
International Centre

Apr 30
Etsy Street Team Spring Craft Show
Gladstone Hotel

Apr 30
Rogers Centre

May 1
Toronto Rock Playoff Game
Air Canada Centre

Starts May 2011
The Railway Children
Roundhouse Theatre

May 4
Kinky Friedman (Koffler Centre Fundraiser)
St. Lawrence Centre

May 13 & 14
Pirates of Penzance Jr.
Lester B. Pearson Theatre

May 14
Russell Peters
Hershey Centre

May 21-23
HarbourKIDS: Circus

May 26-June 1
Untitled by Edouard Locke
Bluma Appel Theatre

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

"Toronto has become an increasingly popular destination… It now places 6th among North American cities."

— from "A Record Year for Tourism in Toronto" the Toronto Star, January 2011.





Did you know? The hospitality sector in the GTA is responsible for 162,000 jobs.
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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

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