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.



  • 700 German Travel Agents Experience Toronto
  • Holiday Campaign Gets Recognition and Results
  • Update on Travel Document Requirements
  • Special Rate for Members at TIAC Event

Welcome to this week's edition of Tourism Now with news and updates from your association. Since this is the last issue of TN for 2008, we will take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for a healthy and happy holiday. Watch for the first issue of the New Year on January 7.
Toronto Projected #1 Canadian Destination for Gay Travellers
Toronto is gaining traction in the important gay and lesbian travel market, according to a survey by Community Marketing Inc. of San Francisco. "Toronto is the #1 projected Canadian destination for 2008, followed by Montreal and Vancouver," the study reported. All three Canadian cities showed strong results and are among the top six international destinations for U.S. gay and lesbian travellers. Tourism Toronto and its partners have expanded marketing to gay and lesbian travellers significantly in the past two years as this becomes a more strategic and valuable market segment.

Top Canadian Cities U.S. Gay and Lesbian Travellers Intend to Visit:
Toronto 7.3%
Vancouver 7.0%
Montreal 7.0%
Victoria/Vancouver Island 3.6%
Quebec City 1.8%
Whistler 1.5%

Courtesy of Community Marketing, Inc., San Francisco, CA, 12th Annual Gay and Lesbian Tourism Survey.

Reaching Germany
As a key source for visitors to this city, Germany is a major focus of sales, marketing and PR efforts by Tourism Toronto. Two recent events align with that focus:
  • Toronto Hosts Top German Tour Operator Event
    Tourism Toronto, together with the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC), and partners Niagara Falls Tourism, Ottawa Tourism, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Jonview Canada, Delta Chelsea Hotel, Air Canada, the Niagara Parks Commission and several member facilities recently hosted the DERTOUR Travel Academy November 27-December 10. The event brings together 700 qualified travel agents, travel trade media, airline representatives and other industry representatives and boasts an impressive history of significantly increasing holiday sales to the host destination. In fact, in 1992, the DERTOUR Travel Academy was held in Toronto and generated a 33 per cent increase in German visitors to Canada in the following year.

    The objective of hosting this event in 2008 in Toronto is to generate increased travel from Germany in 2009 and subsequent years, by providing DERTOUR travel agents with the opportunity to see and experience the compelling tourism products that the city and province have to offer. DERTOUR is the leading German tour operator selling North American products and sends over 110,000 Germans to Canada, representing 25 per cent of the total German visitors to Canada. Tour operators and travel agencies are the primary methods by which Germans book their vacations.
  • Top German Journalists Learn About Toronto
    A TT Media Relations representative joined a CTC-organized tour of four major German media markets, meeting 115 highly qualified journalists, including from such influential media outlets as Vanity Fair, Kanal 4 TV, Travel One, Geo Saison, Traveller's World and Frankfurter Neue Presse.

Tourism Toronto Continues to Nurture Significant Sports Tourism Relationships
Tourism Toronto sponsored the first ever Markham Community Sport Volunteer Awards Dinner, put on by the Markham Sport Council on November 20. The event recognized over 175 local sport groups and clubs and TT's support was recognized by the Council and local decision makers. TT's Sports Tourism team continues to develop a valuable relationship with the Markham Sport Council and local sporting groups as a website sponsor and by offering complimentary sport event planning sales, service and promotional resources.

Tourism Toronto attended the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance "Partnering to Compete" workshop hosted in partnership with Burlington Tourism on Nov 26. The focus of the workshop was to share an understanding of the dynamics of sport tourism and how our communities can effectively work together as a region. Twenty-five cities and sport organizations from the Greater Golden Horseshoe were represented at this workshop.

Promoting the Holiday Experience in Toronto
TT is again running its award-winning (more on that later) holiday marketing campaign this year which contributed to a significant spike in visits to TT's website, as reported in the last issue of Tourism Now.

In addition, the Media Relations team has been focusing efforts on telling Toronto's holiday story through various communications channels and the results are rolling in. Press coverage of Toronto as a shopping and holiday destination in print, online and television has been impressive across all markets. Overall coverage including U.S. (especially border states), Canada, Europe and Latin America reached 5,288,000 people through TV, 1,767,000 through print stories, and more than 30 million people through online stories.

Silver Medal for TT at Canadian Marketing Awards
At the Canadian Marketing Association awards gala, Tourism Toronto's "Toronto: Where the Spirit of the Season Begins" campaign was recognized with a silver award, in the leisure/travel category. The CMA awards gala is the largest awards celebration of its kind in Canada and is the opportunity for Canadian marketers to honour their peers and recognize those who challenge and inspire with stellar marketing campaigns that produce measurable results and break creative barriers.

China International Travel Mart
Several members and partners were part of a Canadian team that visited the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai Nov 20 to 23. Tourism Toronto made valuable contacts and introduced the Chinese version of the new Destination Planner developed by Tourism Toronto as a tool for meeting planners to use when preparing for meetings and conventions in Toronto. The guide was well-received by members of the tourism industry at the show.

Corporate Meeting Planners Experience Toronto Creativity in New York
Tourism Toronto's Corporate & Incentive Travel team along with several hotel partners, recently entertained over 50 corporate and incentive meeting planners in New York. Contact Photography Festival provided a glimpse of Toronto artistry by displaying various works by festival photographers at the latest NY hotspot, Espace. The purpose of the evening was to establish relationships and future leads with professionals influential in the affluent NY meetings market.

TT Maximizes Indy Opportunity
Tourism Toronto, a sponsor of the 2009 inaugural Honda Indy Toronto, participated in the Andretti Green Sponsor Summit in Indianapolis. During the two-day summit, the TT Sports team had the opportunity to showcase the city and our key services via a presentation and several networking opportunities with more than 65 sponsors. The objective was to maximize room nights and meeting opportunities for the city leading up to the race, as well as establish long term relationships with Andretti Green Toronto and sponsors in years to come.

Toronto Represented at NTA 2008
Representatives from the Leisure Trade team along with 20 Tourism Toronto members recently attended the National Tour Association (NTA) annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA. NTA is North America's largest trade association with nearly 4,000 members from 27 countries consisting of 630 tour operator members, 2,300 tour supplier members and 800 destination marketing organizations. The Leisure Trade team conducted 42 business appointments with key North American FIT and group operators, generating 22 leads/member referrals for possible 2009 Toronto programs. To learn more about NTA, please contact Brian Graziano at

Music Educators Met in the Mississauga and Airport Area
The Ontario Music Educators' Association 2008 Conference held at the DoubleTree by Hilton - Toronto Airport, attracted over 450 music educators and performance group organizers. As part of the Meetings Conventions & Incentive Travel team's new initiative to source potential North American festival and event operator companies to sell the GTA as a destination for their performance events, MC&IT was an exhibitor at the conference, armed with a new lure brochure targeting educators planning student travel to Toronto and organizers of music festivals. TT representatives made contact with several exhibitors (tour operators and music associations) who showed interest in music-related event development and were sources of valuable market intelligence regarding the advancement of music events in the GTA.

Toronto Gets a Dose of Chinese Reality
In collaboration with the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, TT's Leisure Travel and Media Relations team hosted a popular Chinese reality TV show as they followed 13 couples' mass wedding in Niagara Falls and two-day honeymoon in Toronto. The blog documenting the journey received 200,000 unique visitors for an equivalent ad value of approximately $440,000 and the TV show drew 1 million viewers representing more than $2,000,000 in ad value.

Update on Travel Document Requirements
As many members know, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a U.S. law that requires all travellers, including Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when travelling to, through, or from the U.S. For air travel, the WHTI document requirements have been in effect since January 2007. Full implementation of the new WHTI document requirements to enter the U.S. via land and water are scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2009.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website has been updated to provide current information on WHTI and its requirements, including a new section with extensive information on the enhanced driver's licence/identification card programs that are in development.

Visit the WHTI section on the CBSA website, which contains detailed information and background on this U.S. law and how Canadian citizens can prepare for its implementation.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (500+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Jan 9-11 Canadian Baha'i International Development Agency 2,000
Jan 25-27 Loblaw Companies Ltd. 1,500
Feb 8-10 Canadian Nurses Association 700
Feb 18-19 Canadian Lumbermen's Association 500
Feb 23-26 Ontario Real Estate Association 500

Special Rate for TT Members at Canada's e-Tourism Strategy Conference
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is presenting Canada-e-Connect January 21-23, 2009 in Toronto. TIAC is offering Tourism Toronto members a special rate for the conference. Save even more if you register before December 19. On behalf of our partners at TIAC, we encourage everyone to consider attending this premier tourism web marketing event. The inaugural event in Vancouver last year was a great success. Check out the lineup for this year's conference!

Thank You
The Daily Bread Food Bank was the recipient of our members' exceptional generosity at our recent Holiday Event. Over 530 people attended and donated $3,156 and over 500 pounds of food, proving once again that giving can be fun.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Nov 22-Dec 31
Christmas Remembered
Black Creek Pioneer Village

Nov 24-Dec 20
It's a Wonderful Life
The Bluma Appel Theatre

Nov 28-Dec 31
Downsview Park Trail of Lights

Nov 29-Dec 31
Cavalcade of Lights
City of Toronto

Dec 11-Jan 13
Christmas Flower Show
Centennial Park Conservatory

Dec 12-14
Umbra Factory Sale
Direct Energy Centre

Dec 13
One Love Reggae Music Festival
Hershey Centre

Dec 1720
The Nathaniel Dett Chorale
Glenn Gould Studio

Dec 19-28
Disney on Ice
Rogers Centre

Dec 26
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Air Canada Centre

Dec 26-28
Reviving the Islamic Spirit

Dec 31
New Year's Eve Family Countdown
Toronto Zoo

Dec 31
Citytv's New Year's Eve Bash
Nathan Phillips Square

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"Big city lights or Victorian traditions, luxury boutiques or international bazaars, musical blockbusters or classic Christmas tales, the choices are yours to enjoy this holiday season in Toronto."

— From the Buffalo News, November 23.

"Toronto's shopping, culture and charm makes it perfect for a Christmas getaway or New Year blow-out - goodness knows there's plenty there to entertain you."

— From the Essex (U.K.) Chronicle, November 28.


Did you know that the Cavalcade of Lights is in its 42nd year and now encompasses 20 neighbourhoods throughout the city?
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.