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  • PCMA Annual Meeting
  • Pan Am Games Bid Support
  • Ireland Learns About Toronto
  • New Hotel GMs

The weather outside may be frightful, but Toronto is still delightful. Visitors and residents alike will find plenty to do and see as our robust arts, culture and sports scenes continue unabated and the Winter City Festival gets into gear. Bundle up, get out and enjoy.
Survey Says...
According to Tourism Toronto's visitor survey conducted at Pearson Airport (in partnership with Ryerson University) in the summer of 2008, 45 per cent of business visitors surveyed said they had added extra time to their stay, in order to enjoy Toronto as a leisure destination. As would be expected, the further away the business visitor was from, the more likely they were to add time onto their trip, with 85 per cent of business visitors from Asia extending their stay. Of those who did not extend their business trip, 61 per cent were tempted to consider staying longer on their next trip, with half of those saying they would bring their partner along too.

Will Consider Extending Future
Visit to Enjoy Toronto
Spent Extra Time in Toronto
Total 61% Total 45%
Asia 100% Asia 85%
Europe 70% Europe 50%
U.S. 59% U.S. 37%
NY (niche focus) 50% NY (niche focus) 48%
Canada 63% Canada 37%

PCMA Annual Meeting
From January 11-14, Tourism Toronto was a strong presence at the Professional Convention Management Association's Annual Meeting in New Orleans. With over 1,000 planners and 3,000 total registrants in attendance, this is the premier gathering for association meeting professionals. As a strategic partner with PCMA the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and TT were highly visible. From sponsorship of the Opening General Session through hosting an exclusive hospitality suite, where nearly 400 clients were entertained, TT was front and centre with this key group.

South American Media Coverage Continues
As a result of two press trips hosted by TT, Toronto continues to reap significant media coverage in Brazil and Argentina. At the end of December, Clarin, a national daily newspaper in Argentina, featured Toronto on the cover of its Sunday travel section. The story, titled "Amazing Toronto" ran in print to 750,000 readers and online. With 4 million unique visitors per month, is the most visited Spanish language newspaper on the Internet.

Brazilian daily newspaper, Gazeta do Povo, ran several related items about Toronto, reaching 95,000 readers in print and 744,000 online visitors per month. Gazeta do Povo is distributed in the upscale city of Curitiba in Southern Brazil.

Pan American Games Bid Progress
Working in partnership with the provincially-led Pan Am Games Secretariat, Tourism Toronto, with significant support from the GTHA, has been instrumental in helping the Toronto 2015 Bid Committee with collecting accommodation information from our hospitality partners for the 2015 Pan American and ParaPan American Games bid. As one step in this long journey, TT has put together an official proposal outlining accommodations and presenting all availabilities and rates for this significant event in 2015. We will be eagerly awaiting the decision from the Pan American Sports Organization Board of Directors in fall 2009.

Final Results for Holiday Campaign Are Positive
Success in marketing Toronto for the holidays was achieved on a number of fronts. Highlights of the final numbers for the holiday marketing campaign are:
  • 293,982 online visits to the core holiday page - 236 per cent of goal
  • 163,637 online visits were logged for the Bills football game offer and package page combined
  • 6,182 visits to the luxury-holiday landing page
  • 977 room nights were booked overall - 114 per cent of goal
  • 133 of the room nights were at luxury properties
  • Online reservations grew from 27 in 2007 to 246 in 2008 - an 811 per cent increase!

Washington Post Coverage
In January "A Night in Toronto on Hockey's Hallowed Turf" appeared in the print and online versions of the prestigious Washington Post newspaper, by a writer the TT media team has supported on a number of recent stories. With print circulation of 929,921 and 13,108,931 unique visitors to the website, this coverage has an equivalent advertising value of over $1 million.

Toronto Ambassador Program Event
To get the ball rolling on international conferences, Tourism Toronto's MC&IT International Sector, in partnership with the MTCC and the Sheraton Centre, hosted a reception on January 7 for the Neuroscience Faculty members of the University of Toronto. The event was held to encourage the professors and researchers to take the lead in hosting international conferences. Despite challenging weather, the event was well attended by 50 faculty members and gave TT the opportunity to promote its free RFP services in support of future bids. For information about the Toronto Ambassador Program, and how Tourism Toronto can help with a proposal, please contact Alice Au at 416-203-3819.

Toronto Exposed
A number of episodic television shows that are shot in and around Toronto have been showing up on our TV screens lately:
  • The prime time hit show "Flashpoint" returned with an exciting episode that prominently featured the Fairmont Royal York hotel during a (fictional!) hostage taking
  • "Being Erica" is a new CBC production showing across Canada, in which Dundas Square and Yorkville recently played starring roles
  • "Howie Do It" featuring Howie Mandel, has started to air on NBC and affiliates and TT is working on having more episodes shot in recognizable Toronto locations
  • Speaking of Howie Mandel, he recently guest hosted on the morning show "Live With Regis & Kelly" and interviewed fellow Torontonian and "24" star, Keifer Sutherland. The two were proud to acknowledge their hometown as they reminisced about growing up in Toronto.

Irish Eyes on Toronto
In November, Tourism Toronto hosted RTE, Ireland's national public broadcaster, for the production of "Christmas in Toronto." The television program outlined the history of the Irish in Toronto and included interviews of people who had moved to Toronto from Ireland. The 25-minute feature aired on December 22, 2008 and had an audience of 420,000 and an advertising equivalency value of $296,900. The show on Toronto received the highest audience share for the entire year for RTE.

Leisure Trade Returns From ABA
Representatives from the Leisure Trade department, along with 20 Tourism Toronto member companies, recently returned from the American Bus Association's annual convention held in Charlotte, NC. Tourism Toronto conducted 35 timed business sessions with key retail and pre-formed group operators throughout North America and 17 leads and nine member referrals were generated. U.S. tour operators cited concerns regarding the current economic situation and the implementation of passport requirements for land crossings in June 2009, as the two main challenges for selling Canadian destination programs in 2009 that are likely to affect group travel.

Super Sunday
On Sunday, February 1, Tourism Toronto's Chicago sales team will welcome association clients and their families to the 2nd annual Super Bowl Party. This exclusive family-friendly event, during which TT takes over the ESPN Zone sports bar/restaurant in Chicago for the afternoon and the duration of the NFL's championship game, is again proving to be a popular event and we expect to welcome a full house of important association clientele.

Tourism Toronto Catches the Spirit
TT and a member hotel will be exhibiting at the 37th RCMA World Conference & Exposition 2009 - "Catch the Spirit" in Grand Rapids, Michigan from January 27-30. The Religious Conference Managers Association is the largest trade show in the world exclusively for the religious market and is expected to draw over 1,300 attendees, which include religious executives, directors and key staff members. These planners are responsible for nearly 17,000 conventions and meetings which annually attract 14.7 million attendees. Showcasing Toronto, the MC&IT team will secure room night opportunities, build valuable relationships for today and tomorrow and learn current trends, via leading experts, in this lucrative market segment.

Sports Council Summit in the Works
TT is partnering with the Toronto Sports Council to stage the second Toronto Sports Council Summit. The event will take place on March 7 and will be a great opportunity for members to network with key sport leaders and local clubs in Toronto. Watch for the notice about this exceptional business opportunity coming out shortly.

Meeting Professionals International Event
The Corporate Team will represent Toronto at MPI's "Meet Different" taking place in Atlanta from February 7-11. Over 800 hospitality professionals from North America will descend on the city for networking, educational sessions, and most of all, talking to over 200 meeting planners. Tourism Toronto and other Canadian partners will differentiate themselves from the rest of the exhibitors by luring potential clients to the booths with aura consultations, iridology and tea leaf readings.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (500+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
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
Feb 26-Mar 1 BMO Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships 5,000

Free Member Workshop
TT has teamed with Honda Indy Toronto to offer members a one-hour workshop on how to be involved in the many high profile festivals and events in Toronto. Learn about the benefits to your business of showcase opportunities. Register now for the workshop on Wednesday, February 25, 10-11 a.m. Only a few spots left!

Fellow Members Offer Discounts
For information about discounted tickets, services and event space, visit the member offers page on the website to see all the great offers. If you would like to promote your business via this program please contact Nicole Webster in Member Care: 416-203-3809.

Member Spotlights
If you are new to Tourism Toronto, or it has been a year or so since you've presented at a member spotlight, get in touch with Nicole Webster in Member Care to schedule a spotlight slot: 416-203-3809. Spotlights are a terrific way to showcase your company's products and services to TT sales, marketing and media relations staff.

Ryerson University Hospitality and Tourism Management Career Fair
Industry professionals are invited to meet students at the upcoming Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Career Fair on Wednesday, February 4. More details can be found here.

New GMs for Two Toronto Hotels
Edwin Frizzell has been appointed General Manager of the Hilton Toronto effective January 19, 2009. Mr. Frizzell, born and raised in Prince Edward Island, has over 15 years of hospitality experience serving in managerial, sales/marketing and operational capacities for many prominent hotels both in the U.S. and Canada. Tourism Toronto congratulates Mr. Frizzell on his prestigious new role and return to Toronto.

On January 5, 2009, Paul de La Durantaye started his new role as General Manager of Hotel Le Germain Toronto. Mr. de La Durantaye is originally from Ottawa and has over 20 years of hospitality experience in the luxury hotel market throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe. Tourism Toronto extends to Mr. de La Durantaye a warm welcome back to Toronto.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Jan 12–25
Robbie Burns Festival
Duke Pubs

Jan 18-Feb 3
"When Gold Meets Cold": Niagara Ice Wine Festival

Jan 22 & 24
TSO - The Magic Flute (Opera in Concert)
Roy Thomson Hall

Jan 23
The Killers
Air Canada Centre

Jan 23-25
Dance Ontario Dance Weekend
Harbourfront - Fleck Dance Theatre

Jan 23-25
Chinese New Year
Rogers Centre

Jan 23-Mar 29
Cinematheque Ontario Winter Season

Jan 24
The Young Divas with the Bill King Trio
Hammerson Hall - Living Arts Centre

Jan 25
Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris
McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Jan 30-Feb 12
Winter City Festival
City of Toronto

Feb 5-8
Interior Design Show
Direct Energy Centre

Feb 6-7
ROMkids Sleepovers
Royal Ontario Museum

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"¡Hay nieve! ¡Hay nieve!" Translation: "There's snow! There's snow!"

— Overheard on a flight carrying a group of excited teenagers from Mexico City, as they landed in Toronto.


Did you know? Snow makes things quieter because the air pockets in fresh snow absorb and trap sound waves. But ambient noise returns when surface snow hardens and begins to reflect more sound. In places where there is really hard snow, the icy surface will actually cause noise to travel farther. (Walk softly and carry a big shovel.)
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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.