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TOURISM NOW

Photo: Loew’s Christmas Market at the Distillery District – torontowide.com


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • TT chooses new marketing agency
  • Our members give generously
  • Special rate for TT members to Canada-e-Connect


Message from the President & CEO of Tourism Toronto

As we come to the close of another year, I wish to thank the Board of Directors, member partners and staff for another successful year. It is not lost on anyone that 2010 was a time full of challenges for many of our partners, but as we turn the corner to 2011 we are full of optimism for a rewarding year for our industry and our community. Building upon the momentum that Toronto has experienced in the past twelve months I am personally very excited about not only where Toronto as a destination is – but perhaps more importantly - where we are headed. My sincere wish is that you too will be a part of this ride as Toronto continues its ascent as one of the most desirable and successful destinations in all of North America if not the world.

All the best to your families and friends for a safe and joyful holiday season and a prosperous 2011.

David Whitaker
David Whitaker


TOURISM SNAPSHOT
A look at the number of room nights sold by Toronto hotels during the past three years demonstrates how the city has begun to recover from the 2009 slump. Data through October show that Toronto hotels have sold far more rooms in 2010 than in 2009 for every single month. Moreover, in every month except January and May the 2010 numbers even exceed the 2008 numbers, which bodes well for the upcoming year.

Toronto Hotel Room Nights Sold (thousands)

Toronto Hotel Room Nights Sold (thousands)

Source: Smith Travel Research


HIGHLIGHTS
CP+B new lead agency for TT
After a comprehensive search process involving over 100 contenders, TT has chosen Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) as its new lead marketing agency. Known for its creativity and high degree of experience with new and traditional media, as well as the team’s obvious and genuine passion for Toronto, CP+B will help ignite a conversation with sophisticated urban travellers around the world. Read the full announcement here.

Corporate Social Responsibility at holiday time
From the generosity our members demonstrated in connection with TT’s Holiday Celebration, “Corporate Social Responsibility” isn’t just a turn of phrase. Over 700 people turned out to our overflowing Holiday Event at the MTCC and, as a result, we donated $3,800 to the Fort York Food Bank on behalf of our members. As FYFB Board member Chris Murphy said, “This donation will make a real difference to the hundreds of people who rely on the food bank every day.” Thank you to all who turned out and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for being such gracious hosts.

While we’re on the topic of CSR, we are currently seeking donations for our Relax, Recharge, Renew program for 2011. Many of our members have already responded to the call and donated certificates for 2-night hotel stays or restaurant meals, but we need much more in order to sustain this important program through 2011. If you are able to donate or need more information about the RRR program, please contact Cathy Riches at 416-987-9077 or criches@torcvb.com.

A tale of two Londons
Londoners on both sides of the Atlantic are reading about Toronto this week. In the U.K., the current issue of TTG Luxury Magazine has a seven-page article that covers a range of Toronto’s assets. Tourism Toronto’s media team hosted the writer in the summer as part of a U.K. press tour. TTG Luxury specializes in destination-focused features and this article has an advertising equivalency of $15,000.

Closer to home in London, Ontario, the London Free Press Sunday Travel section ran a front-page feature on Toronto’s holiday magic. A result of the recent holiday press tour, this story reached an audience of 96,000 readers in one of Toronto’s most important local markets.

Cheering on sport
On Dec 17, Tourism Toronto’s Sport sales team, including our newest teammate Travis McKenzie, spread holiday cheer at the Sport Alliance of Ontario’s Annual Festive Social. TT is one of the select few partners invited to this event which enabled the Sport team to re-connect with over 50 provincial sport organizations and 200 clients and set the stage to build new sport opportunities for future years.

Capital exposure
A feature story in the Washington Post has brought attention to one of Toronto’s uniquely diverse neighbourhoods and cultural groups helping further Toronto’s reputation as a travel destination amongst Washingtonians. The circulation of the Washington Post’s travel section is 845,500 and the article can be viewed online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121003081.html

Boosting our wintry appeal
Building on our efforts to grow awareness and interest in Toronto as a year-round destination in the “key city” of Buenos Aires, TT’s International Leisure Sales team recently hosted a product educational tour to showcase holiday/winter shopping, festivals and activities available from December 2010-March 2011. Eleven clients participated in the holiday fam including key tour operators and travel agents in Argentina. Clients were amazed by the urban chic of Toronto and the number of retail sales and attraction options available to their customers throughout the holiday season and several of them commented that they could offer Toronto as an alternative to their clients who traditionally visit New York City this time of year.

Holidays mean networking opportunities
TT was one of three major sponsors at the Canadian Society of Association Executives Trillium Chapter Holiday Season Event on December 1. TT raised Toronto’s profile with over 200 association executives at the sold-out event by making a special donation on behalf of our members to The Gatehouse, the charity of choice for CSAE Trillium Chapter.

On December 14, TT exhibited at the Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Annual Holiday Showcase. More than 2,000 meeting professionals streamed through the four-hour exhibition in a flurry of holiday greetings and renewed relationships.

The newest member of the D.C. sales team, Kara Millar Bowman, joined the team at the annual CVB Reps luncheon in Washington, D.C. This annual event allows TT to mix and mingle with nearly 300 top meeting professionals from the D.C. area and to strengthen relationships with clients in all stages of the sales cycle.

The exhibition so nice they named it twice
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) held its annual Expo! Expo! in New Orleans from December 7-9 where TT showcased the destination to more than 2,100 meeting and exhibition industry professionals.

WHAT'S NEXT
Start the new year right – catch up with the latest trends in on-line marketing!
Canada-e-Connect is the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s compelling look into the online and web-based trends, tools and technology that can help catalyze growth in the tourism sector. Thanks to a special partnership, Tourism Toronto members are being offered a discounted registration rate of $545. To take advantage of the rate go to www.canadaeconnect.com, click on “I qualify for the Host DMO member rate” and when prompted, use the special registration code CECTOR. The conference runs from February 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto.

PCMA Annual Meeting
TT is busy preparing for the 2011 PCMA Annual Meeting which will take place in Las Vegas, January 9-12. Robust attendance numbers are expected for this year’s event and TT is excited to showcase the destination to the meeting planning community through new elements in its exclusive, signature Imaginarium display area.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (500+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Dec 26-31 Brethren in Christ Church – YouthQuest 500
Dec 27-Jan1 American Institute of Architecture Students 1,000
Jan 4-8 Softchoice - Launch 2011 900
Jan 10-15 Acklands Grainger 725
Jan 16-21 Nestle Canada 900
Feb 17-25 Shoppers Drug Mart 2,200


CONCIERGE DESK

This month's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Genevieve Archibald
Chef Concierge - Intercontinental Toronto Centre
Member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada

Nature Trails of Ashbridge’s Bay
I never seem to tire of this lovely stretch of nature trails that is connected to the Woodbine Beach area.

To begin exploring I always walk to the end of the boardwalk where there is a charming gazebo and some picnic benches with a fantastic easterly view of Woodbine Beach. Although the picnic benches are there, I never see them being used, as the enormous rocks in this area make for a much more interesting spot to picnic, where you can watch the waves crashing against the rocks below. Don’t eat all of your snacks here though, as there are many more snack-worthy places to stop along the way!

This region is a mix of cultivated and wild areas and I honestly couldn’t choose which season is my favourite for exploring the area. In the spring, the scent of budding foliage is sweet and exciting. In the summer you’ve got fabulous breezes coming in off the lake and extraordinary bird watching opportunities. The autumn surrounds you with its gorgeous fall colours and the irresistible sound of leaves that crunch beneath your feet. In the winter, the placid silence and solitude makes you realize that this truly is a hidden gem.

There are man-made walkways along the trail, but I prefer to take the dirt trails that follow the shore line (the road less travelled, if you will). You are sure to come across a number of secluded beaches that are just begging to be explored. They are made up of massive boulders, rounded bricks and other building materials and lake rocks. On my most recent trip there I came across a lovely dog named Betty whose owner was surprised by her fierce protection of the Inukshuks he was in the process of building. Betty warmed to me once she saw that I too was capable of creating interesting little rock people.

When satisfied with my creations I continue along the trail to the part that juts out over the lake and provides an uninterrupted view of the majestic Toronto skyline. From this region you get a good sense of the enormity of Lake Ontario as you compare her to the itsy bitsy CN Tower…..well, from here anyway!

This is probably a good spot to finish your snacks because you won’t want to leave this place any time soon!

The trails are easy to access via four wheels or two, as the entrance is an extension of the Martin Goodman Trail and part of Toronto’s extensive path network, plus, with the exception of weekends in the summer, there is ample free parking at the foot of Coxwell Avenue.

MEMBER FOCUS
Welcome New Members

Accommodation
The Waterside Inn

Meeting Services
Krista Slack + Aylett Inc.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
  Dec 22-23
Christmas with the TSO
Roy Thomson Hall

Dec 26
35th Annual Christmas Treats Walk
Toronto Zoo

To Dec 31
Cavalcade of Lights
Various locations

Dec 31
New Year’s Eve Cruises
Mariposa Cruises

Dec 31
Salsa New Year’s Eve
Lula Lounge

Dec 31
New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza
Massey Hall

To Jan 2
The Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army
Royal Ontario Museum

To Jan 2
National Ballet - The Nutcracker
Four Seasons Centre

To Jan 16
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Canon Theatre

To Apr 17
Tim Burton Exhibition
TIFF Bell Lightbox

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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"From intricate display windows at Canada's oldest department store to Chinese terra cotta warriors at the Royal Ontario Museum and a German-style Christmas market in a former whisky distillery, Toronto is holiday fun to the core."

— from London Free Press December 2010
MEMBER
TOOLKIT
EVENT CALENDAR

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TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know? The Christmas tree in Nathan Phillips Square is decorated with 10,000 lights that take a four-person crew three days to put up.
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Please contact Cathy Riches via newsletter@torcvb.com 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 www.SeeTorontoNow.com.

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