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Photo: Lionhead Golf & Country Club


  • ADS now a reality
  • Updated Student & Youth Travel site
  • Lots of LGBT and Pride activity
  • MusiCounts needs your vote

June numbers are in, and the entire month set record hotel occupancy levels. June occupancy this year was at 80 per cent for the month, up 19 per cent over 2009 and 4 per cent over 2008.

Average daily rate (ADR) for June was up 19 per cent for the 30-day period over June 2009. The impressive combination of record occupancy and ADR boosted revenue per available room (RevPAR) a whopping 41 per cent for the month of June.

Toronto Hotel Performance for June

2009 Market Analysis

Source: Smith Travel Research

Year-to-date (January to June), reports from Smith Travel Research indicate occupancy for the first six months is up 11 per cent over the same period in 2009 and equal to occupancy levels reported in 2008.

Canada Signs Approved Destination Status with China
On June 24, the governments of Canada and China signed the much anticipated Approved Destination Status (ADS),a designation that will now allow Chinese nationals to travel to Canada in a leisure group format.Although Tourism Toronto has been working with Chinese media and stakeholders for several years, the ADS also allows TT to promote the region more aggressively as a leisure destination in partnership with key Chinesetrade clients, the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

Fifty major Chinese tour operators visited our region to join the ADS official signing ceremony which took place in Ottawa. Prior to these important clients heading to Ottawa, TT, in partnership with Niagara Falls Tourism, co-sponsored a celebratory lunch for the delegation and indicated our intention to workalongsidethem as they begin to actively sell Canada and Toronto to Chinese travellers.

In addition, TT representatives have just returned from China where they met with key media and trade clients. As a result, China's Travel Channel will be arriving in Ontario this week as part of a PR promotion with two winning families who were awarded vacation experiences in Toronto and Ontario. This was a collaborative effort between our partners and OTMPC.

Paris and Madrid Sample the Product
In line with our Key Cities Strategy, Tourism Toronto's International Leisure Trade team recently hosted 78 sales and reservation agents from Paris and Madrid who were visiting Toronto for product testing tours to garner knowledge and insight about the Toronto attractions and products featured and sold by four major French and Spanish tour operators.

French Glamour Admires Toronto's Green Side
In late May, TT's Media Relations team hosted a writer from Glamour magazine on a press trip geared to the French market. The resulting five-page article on eco-friendly Toronto and accompanying Editorial highlight will appear in the September issue, which has the highest readership on the fashion magazine calendar. French Glamour is based in Paris and has a circulation of nearly 400,000.

Keeping Toronto on Financial Meeting Planners' Radar
From June 16-18, TT's U.S. Corporate sales team attended the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Education Forum in St. Louis, Missouri. This was the first FICP conference since Toronto hosted the Annual Meeting in November 2009. At the Education Forum, planners and suppliers learned alongside each other, networked and conducted business. Tourism Toronto helped facilitate a session entitled "Out with the Old" where we had the opportunity to present some of the new and unique ideas that TT has introduced into the events world.

Meetings Media Meet Toronto
As a result of TT hosting a tour for meetings press, highlighting the meetings and conventions industry in Toronto, PCMA's Convene magazine published a piece on Toronto's "Newest, Greenest and Most Elegant Spaces" in the June issue. Convene is an international magazine created to aid association managers and meeting planners in developing educational programming and coordinating conventions of all sizes.

Baseball's Been Good to Me
The WEEI Sports Radio Network & partnered with Tourism Toronto again to promote Toronto to its Boston audience as a sports city. Two reporters visited in order to tell the Toronto story on and give away a trip for two to the Red Sox at Blue Jays series July 9-12. The equivalent advertising value of this promotion on both radio and web is approximately $11,000.

Refreshed Student & Youth Site
TT's Student & Youth Travel site has been re-vamped with an improved, user-friendly look. Tour Operators are now able to view members' educational information, including curriculum-matched activities for students, as well as evening activities and performance options from our list of members who offer these services. Forty-nine members responded and will be featured on the website.

Ich Bin Ein Torontonian
Germany based Freizeitwoche magazine came for TT's "Discover Toronto" press trip in May and resulted in "Toronto - the city that is also fun for nature enthusiasts" in the July 7 issue. Freizeitwoche is a weekly magazine that reports on current news and interviews on national and international celebrities with a circulation of 470,000.

In July, Media Relations, in partnership with CTC and OTMP, hosted six German media for a "Generation Kanada" press trip in conjunction with German tour operator FTT's product tour. Media included Freizeit Aktuell, rbb Radio, TV Touring and Main-Post newspaper.

Meetings Place Mexico
Puerto Vallarta was the host destination of Meetings Place Mexico from June 6-8. TT, along with several other destinations, completed over 20 appointments with Mexican meeting planners to help spread the word about the new expedited visa guidelines available to all MICE market groups. In addition to the one-on-one appointments, evening networking sessions helped us connect with some additional clients who are excited about looking at Canada again for their programs.

Pride Attracts Urban Journalists
In July, Media Relations led a press trip during Pride Weekend for 10 writers from Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City among others. The journalists explored Toronto's diversity and discovered Canada's largest gay community.

In October 2009, TT hosted the editor of Spartacus Traveler magazine on a LGBT-themed press trip timed to coincide with Halloweek. The five-page feature on Toronto's shopping, young designers and exciting art scene appears in the July issue of the magazine. Based in Berlin, Spartacus Traveler is one of the top gay magazines in Germany.

IGLTA in Antwerp
Antwerp was the host city for the 2010 IGLTA Conference, June 22-27 and TT attended with members. Over 30 gay and lesbian tour operators from Europe and North America, 50 travel writers and many online and marketing agencies worldwide were in attendance. Our Tourism Toronto booth was part of the Trade and Consumer Show featured during the Antwerp Pride Parade Festival in conjunction with IGLTA.

Event Planners Get the Goods
A big thank you to those members who purchased advertising in the Ignite Magazine supplement that was distributed to over 15,000 meeting and event planners in Canada the week of June 21. The supplement will be used by all Tourism Toronto sellers at upcoming industry trade shows and events, as well as distributed to many of our existing clients. The piece is very reflective of Toronto's urban look and covers a wide variety of topics including Meetings Places Re-imagined, The Green List, and Toronto "The Goods."

Member Presentation at AFN
Tourism Toronto and 10 member hotels presented the GTA to the administrators and travel people at The Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa on June 22. Attendees were treated to a networking lunch and a casual atmosphere mini trade show where they learned about all that the GTA has to offer. This was the first time that TT and our members have hosted such an event and all were very impressed with the network of services and the eagerness of the members to assist attendees with any upcoming events to be held in the greater Toronto area.

Caribana Press trip
In partnership with OTMP, Tourism Toronto will host nine writers from prominent African-American publications such as Jet, J'Adore Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine, GlobeTrotterTV and others, to experience the Caribana festivities as well as Black History in South Western Ontario and Toronto.

Working the Incentives Industry
It's not too early to start thinking about Incentiveworks taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre August 17 & 18. Tourism Toronto will once again be participating in the hosted buyer program and will be guiding around 30 event planners to various venues in Toronto the day prior to the show. The kick-off of the event is the Canada Rocks Party being held on Monday, August 16 at 15 Mercer Street, one of the hottest new venues in the city. The opening party is followed by two days of education sessions and a trade show, where once again Tourism Toronto is the Welcome Sponsor.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Jul 16-28 Royal Canadian Golf Association - RBC Canadian Open 8,000
Jul 16-Aug 2 American Contract Bridge League 1,300
Jul 19-24 Rolls Royce Owners' Club 1,000
Jul 19-25 Field Hockey Ontario 2,000
Jul 24-Aug 1 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute 1,200
Jul 25-Aug 2 U of T - Canadian Track & Field Championships 1,700
Jul 30-Aug 9 International Association for the History of Religions 1,000
Aug 3-8 Joyce Meyer Industries 10,000
Aug 16-19 Rogers Communications - IncentiveWorks 1,000
Aug 16-21 Mimico Mountaineers - Founders Cup 1,000

AVW-TELAV has announced that Johanne Bélanger has been named Chief Operating Officer of Freeman's Audio Visual divisions across North America. Freeman's Audio Visual divisions include a range of North American operating units that Ms. Bélanger will oversee. Ms. Bélanger joined AVW-TELAV and Videoscope as President in 2005 and sits on several boards including Tourism Toronto's.

Factory Theatre's founder and Artistic Director, Ken Gass, was recently named the 2010 winner of the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts. The award ceremony, presided over by Premier Dalton McGuinty and Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture, was held at the Liberty Grand on June 10.


This month's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Amy Collier
Chef Concierge
Professional Affiliate Les Clefs d'Or Canada
155 Cumberland Street

Hidden (Family) Gems for Summer
School's out and a majority of us end up taking time off for the summer. There are 10 glorious weeks to explore the city of Toronto. So, what should we do and how can we have fun without blowing the budget?

In the city of Toronto there are numerous events or activities that you can participate in for free or at a minimal cost. Whether you have family or are planning a "staycation" there is no shortage of activities to explore.

Following are some suggestions that guarantee you will have an amazing time in Toronto!

The City of Toronto offers many free weekend events in various locations around the city. A majority of the locations listed below offer drama, crafts and music. Starting Saturday, July 3 until Sunday, August 29 you can visit the following destinations.

Colborne Lodge, located in majestic High Park, is an opportune time to keep your children educated in the summer and have fun at the same time. Before heading out, I would suggest packing a lunch. This way once the learning is over, you can head over to Grenadier pond for a lovely picnic. After the picnic you can stretch your legs and go for a leisurely walk in High Park.

Fort York is home to Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Located at 100 Garrison Road, Fort York is easily accessible by car or public transit. Discover what life was life for a soldier his family and officers. Take a peek at the kitchen, go for a guided tour and watch the cannon fire. My personal favorite at Fort York is exploring the grounds in mid-August and watching the multitudes of monarch butterflies flock about. It's a sight so rare that you would not believe you are in the city.

I have only highlighted two of the attractions which fall under the City of Toronto umbrella, but there are many more to explore including Mackenzie House and Todmorden Mill.

Calling all movie buffs! Every Wednesday night at Metro Square, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has teamed up with The Toronto Entertainment District to offer a free outdoor movie night. The movies are open to all ages. It's a great way to spend an evening under the stars in downtown Toronto.

The Art Gallery of Ontario offers free admission every Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. Admire the work of Frank Gehry as you step back and enjoy the clean lines of the stunning building. Soak in one of the largest Inuit collections in the world, experience the work of The Famed Group of Seven, Emily Carr and so much more.

The Royal Ontario Museum offers free admission every Wednesday after 4:30 p.m. as well as half-price Fridays. Marvel at the dinosaur exhibit, which showcases their eggs and babies, catch a glimpse of The Terracotta Warriors and step into the Bat Cave for a hyper sensory experience!

If you love shoes then the Bata Shoe Museum is a great place to visit on Thursday nights. Admission is Pay What You Can with a suggested donation of $5.00. Who can resist learning about the history of shoes and why they remain a strong fashion statement. Some of the shoes on display in their permanent collection are from Marilyn Monroe, Elton John and Donovan Bailey!

As much as I would love to write more, I hope that I have captured your interest and offered some fabulous economical options! I know that I will be visiting many of these Toronto gems with my son. It is my hope that you will too!

MusiCounts Needs Your Vote
As many of you who attended our AGM know, MusiCounts is a music education charity associated with CARAS whose mission is to ensure that all children in Canada have access to a comprehensive music program through their school. MusiCounts is in the running for a $100,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project and would like your help by clicking on this link ( and voting for this wonderful organization. It's a short process and will go a long way to helping MusiCounts get much-needed financial support for this worthwhile program. Voting ends August 31.

Thanks to all the members, guests and sponsors who made the Greater Toronto Hotel Association/Tourism Toronto golf tournament fun and fulfilling. Your enthusiastic participation is evolving this into a bigger and better event each year, as a record 240 golfers participated!

More Golf
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is hosting its first Annual Golf Tournament Friday, August 27 at The Country Club in Woodbridge. With an 8:30 a.m. shotgun tee-off, it's a great way to start the weekend. Spots are filling up, so register today by completing this form or visiting and clicking on the registration link on the home page. Contact Emily Harper-Hawkins if you have any questions: 416-483-1691 or

Membership Directory Listings Update
Please keep your eyes peeled for the July edition of the Membership Directory which will be making its way to our members' inboxes soon!

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members

Attractions & Events
Canadian National Sportsmen's Show Toronto Sportsmen's Show
Toronto Ski, Snowboard & Travel Show
Toronto Motorcycle Show
Flat Rock Cellars

Meeting Services
Cerise Fine Catering
Continuing Education and Professional Development, University of Toronto
Charisma Promotions

Virgin America

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
  July 21-27
Toronto Burlesque Festival
Gladstone Hotel

July 24-31
Broadway Gold II
Rose Theatre

Until July 25
RBC Canadian Open
St. George's Golf and Country Club

Until July 25
Beaches International Jazz Festival
Various locations

Until July 25
Various restaurants

Until Aug 1
Scotiabank Caribana
Various locations

July 20-Aug 14
Toronto Summer Music Festival
Various venues

July 23-Aug 13
From the Soul: Caribana Art Exhibit

July 28
Kings of Leon
Molson Amphitheatre

Aug 6-8
Pilaros Taste of the Danforth

Aug 7-15
Tennis Canada's Rogers Cup
Rexall Centre

Aug 21
Latin Music Festival
International Centre

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

"The Toronto event was a perfect example of being able to combine two vacations into one: the excitement of the golf with the thrill of downtown Toronto."

— From "Playing with the pros" in the Lansing State Journal





Did you know? Toronto has 200 golf courses within an hour's drive of downtown.
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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.