Toronto is tops in China
Toronto was the only Canadian destination chosen by readers of Elite Traveller and CTrip.com (China's largest on-line travel agency) and ranked as 12th most popular among the top 30 overseas destinations for interested travellers. The two outlets polled over 7.5 million readers/site visitors and the results are below.
Top 30 Overseas Destinations
1. Paris, France
2. Swiss Alps Jungfrau, Switzerland
3. Tokyo, Japan
4. Republic of Maldives
5. Prague, Czech Republic
6. Phuket, Thailand
7. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
8. Johannesburg, South Africa
9. Seoul, Korea
10. Great Barrier Reef / Cairns, Australia
11. Disney World Orlando
12. Toronto, Canada
13. London, England
14. Singapore Island, Singapore
15. Zurich, Switzerland
16. Vienna, Austria
18. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
19. Cancun, Mexico
20. Cairo, Egypt
21. Bangkok, Thailand
22. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
23. Cape Town, South Africa
24. Titlis, Switzerland
25. Lapland, Finland
26. Gold Coast, Australia
28. Masai Mara, Kenya
29. South Bohemia, Czech Republic
30. Chamonix, France
New flights from Bejing
The fourth largest carrier in China, Hainan Airlines, launched direct service from Beijing to Toronto with the arrival of their inaugural flight to Pearson International Airport on November 27. This four-star carrier will offer direct service between the two cities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and is the first Chinese airline to serve Toronto. The International Leisure Trade Sales team has been working closely with Hainan in recent weeks to promote the new route to Chinese travel trade and media. Several trade and media will be visiting the city on fam tours, with the support of the airline, over the coming months.
They like us, they really like us
Since launching the Toronto Facebook page in late 2009, it continues to see tremendous growth which was most recently bolstered by Tourism Toronto's holiday promotion. The visitor-oriented page, which offers packages, contests and information about events, now has nearly 30,000 fans! Fan interaction and participation continues to increase as well, which is a key to successful social media.
Representatives from the International Leisure Sales team along with seven members recently attended World Travel Market (WTM) held in London, England in November. While exhibiting at this travel trade show, the sales team had 30 business appointments with key U.K.-based wholesalers, tour operators, online travel agencies and travel consortia to discuss future Toronto programs and marketing campaigns. As a result of our meetings several leads and member referrals were generated and potential marketing initiatives for 2011 were identified. The U.K. clients indicated that despite the difficult economic climate, they are experiencing a healthy number of advance bookings for the 2011 season.
Major European media get a visit
A European media mission to four cities resulted in face-to-face meetings with 64 targeted travel media in London, Frankfurt, Berlin and Paris. The media included top newspapers such as The Times of London, Frankfurter Neue Presse, Berliner Kurier, Der Tagesspiegel, and Le Journal du Dimanche, as well as TV producers and online media. Several media from these meetings have already confirmed Toronto stories for 2011 as these advance media missions lay the groundwork for upcoming press tours in Toronto and coverage in targeted key cities.
London comes to TO
In partnership with the Thompson Hotel and OTMP, TT's Media Relations team recently hosted top London-based media from November 24-28 to sample Toronto's culinary scene, nightlife and trendy neighbourhoods such as West Queen West and Yorkville. Media included CNBC Business, OK! Magazine, Shortlist, Palladium and The Times.
A capital night
On November 25, TT and 20 members hosted 80 Canadian association clients representing business in all stages of the sales cycle for dinner at the National Arts Centre followed by an evening of musical theatre with Fiddler on the Roof. This annual event features a different activity each year and has become a mainstay on the Ottawa meeting industry networking calendar.
Reaching U.S. urbanites
"Tempted by Toronto" ran in the Metro U.S. papers after a press trip hosted by TT in mid-October. Toronto got a cover mention and the article reached more than 700,000 readers in the Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Long Island versions of the paper. Additionally, the article ran online in each of these outlets and in the Metro US main site.
As part of Tourism Toronto's key cities initiatives, representatives of TT's International Leisure Trade Sales team recently participated in a CTC France-sponsored tradeshow--Forum Des Americas a Paris--where staff met with key French travel trade clients specializing in the North American market. While in Paris, TT also participated, along with five other Ontario suppliers, in a two-day sales mission sponsored by Ontario Tourism. Targeting both group and FIT operators, client interaction opportunities included product training sessions, product and marketing development and a client event.
More coverage comes out of TIFF
TT-hosted press trips during TIFF have resulted in coverage in a range of media and countries. Hokuu Shimpo, Kitanippon Shimbun and Kahoku Shimpo ran this item, with more to come, as this newswire story is picked up by additional publications.
The Spanish TV show Castellano-Manchegos por el Mundo is about Spanish people living in different parts of the world. In this episode, which runs close to 50 minutes, ex-pats tell viewers about their new life in Toronto and show them their favourite places in the city.
Berliner Kurier am Sonntag (Berlin) ran a double-page feature on Toronto both online and in print. Berliner Kurier am Sonntag is a daily newspaper covering events and entertainment that reaches 176,000 readers. The article had an advertising equivalency of over $37,000.
They shoot, we score
On December 2, TT's U.S. Corporate team partnered with the Canadian Tourism Commission and other CTC partners to host 70 corporate planners and their guests at an NHL game in Minnesota. These planners are based in many industries and have potential to host their groups, meetings and conventions in Toronto.
Travel trade triad
TT's International Leisure Sales team, together with several member companies, attended three major North American travel trade conventions in the past month including Bienvenue Quebec in Charlevoix, Q.C., Ontario Motor Coach Association held in Niagara Falls, ON, and the National Tour Association's annual convention which took place in Montreal, QC. Business meetings were conducted with over 150 Tour Operators from North America who expressed keen and renewed interest in Toronto for 2011 and overall feedback from the trade clients indicated that 2010 business had rebounded. Additionally, during October and November, Toronto was showcased to key tour operators from North America who participated in one of eight familiarization tours targeting both the adult and student market segments.
Front and centre in D.C.
TT was the Platinum Sponsor of PCMA's Capital Chapter annual meeting in mid-November. This annual event drew several hundred "power players" from the Washington, D.C. meeting community and was an excellent opportunity to keep Toronto's profile high as the sales team networked with past, present and future business partners and updated them about what's new in Toronto.