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TOURISM NOW
TOURISM NOWJULY 29, 2009

Photo: Caribana, www.torontowide.com


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • RRR program for families wins prestigious recognition
  • Media coverage from Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Mississauga Visitor Guide is out

TOURISM SNAPSHOT
Tourism Toronto has partnered with Ryerson University and the GTAA to conduct an ongoing visitor survey at Pearson International Airport of Toronto's overnight visitors. In Q2, a total of 1,228 surveys were completed by overnight visitors who had just completed a trip to Toronto. A few of the findings are:
  • Those surveyed gave Toronto 8.7 out of 10 for overall satisfaction of their trip
  • When asked to rate out of 10 if Toronto is a destination they would recommend visiting, the average score was 8.4
  • When asked how the current economic climate would affect their leisure travel 7 per cent said they would travel more, 66 per cent said they would travel the same amount, 6 per cent said they would travel the same amount but closer to home, and 19 per cent said they would travel less.

HIGHLIGHTS
Relax, Recharge & Renew Program Gets a Big Thumbs Up
At the Destination Marketing Association International Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, Tourism Toronto's RRR program was recognized as a "Destination Champion." Organizations from around the world were invited to submit their "champion" stories about industry colleagues who have made a lasting impact on a destination. As many of our members know, the RRR program provides a weekend hotel stay, activities and meals to parents and siblings of special needs children. We share this recognition with our hotel, restaurant, limousine and attraction partners who have overwhelmingly supported the program which, to date, has helped out nearly 70 families. We couldn't do it without you!

Forbes Traveler Highlights Canada & Toronto
A lengthy piece on forbestraveler.com about "Canada's Most Visited Tourist Attractions '09," complete with sumptuous slideshow, features over a half-dozen Toronto delights such as Harbourfront Centre, Exhibition Place, and the Toronto Zoo.

MVG Hits the Stands
TT has once again partnered with CTM to produce the Mississauga Official Visitor Guide for 09/10, in order to highlight the rich offerings the region has to offer. In partnership with CTM, fifty thousand copies are being distributed to over 160 hotels, Ontario Travel Centres, car rental outlets, Pearson airport, train stations and highway rest stops. The guide includes listings of all our Mississauga and airport area members as well as enhanced editorial about the attractions and culture of the region.

Condé Nast Traveler On-Line
A five-minute video diary on Toronto: The Starchitecture delves into architecture, arts and the creative neighbourhoods of Toronto. TT's Media Relations team and partners assisted the Condé Nast Traveler video crew, resulting in this stellar coverage.

Lots of Leads at WEC
TT's sales team attended Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress which took place mid-July in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a productive trip generating 15 leads representing 66,000 potential room nights for Toronto, including three potential city-wide conventions.

Popular Chilean Magazine Shoots Major Feature on Toronto
Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team welcomed Caras magazine from Chile July 16-26. The popular magazine was in town producing a massive 150-page special edition on the city including fashion, photography and editorial. Caras is an upscale lifestyle publication with a circulation of 50,000 monthly.

Texans Taking the Long View
For four days, TT's U.S. sales team saddled up to call on key association and third-party clients from Dallas to Austin to Houston. Long-term interest in Toronto remains high, however association clients in this secondary market are keeping their short-term vision focused on second and third tier U.S. destinations that offer lower prices in these difficult economic times.

Sydney Reads All About Us
In May, TT's Media Relations team, in partnership with CTC (Australia), supported a writer from the Sydney Morning Herald. As a result of his visit, his two-page article appeared in the travel section of the Sunday Sun-Herald and will be repeated in Melbourne's The Age. Both papers are among Australia's most influential with the Sun Herald reaching 480,000 readers.

Golf Draws Media Attention
TT's Media Relations hosted a group of golf and lifestyle media from July 22-26 highlighting some of the best public golf courses in North America and the RBC Canadian Open. Media participating in the trip include Elite Traveler, USA Today, GolfNews Magazine, WorldGolf.com, TravelGolf.com and others. Throughout the trip, Michigan Talk Network also broadcast several morning shows live from Toronto highlighting golf experiences and the overall sports scene in Toronto.

Media Relations Efforts in the U.K.
On July 18, 2009, the U.K.'s Independent newspaper ran a two-page article on "48 hours in Toronto" as well online at www.independent.co.uk. This type of national coverage is extremely valuable as we strive to maintain the city's profile in this important market for Toronto.

TT's Media Relations team, in partnership with OTMP, welcomed renowned U.K. travel writer, Peter Ellegard, now the editor of Travel + Leisure Magazine to Toronto July 20-23 to explore what's new in the city.

Reaching an Emerging Market
In the June/July issue of Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine, Toronto is featured in the FAM Report section as a result of a press trip focused on Black History Month, conducted by the Media Relations team. Black Meetings & Tourism is an international trade publication for and about the $40 billion plus African-American group and leisure travel, incentives and meetings market.

Port Credit and Streetsville Highlighted in U.S. Media
As a result of a shopping-inspired press trip Media Relations hosted last year, two stories ran in multiple newspapers in the important drive market of Michigan. One article focused on shopping in Mississauga's Port Credit and Streetsville neighbourhoods and the other on Toronto's "must see" attractions. The resulting coverage in print and on-line has a combined reach of over 1 million readers.

WHAT'S NEXT
It's Almost Here!
As many of you know, August 15-18 is ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's 2009 Annual Conference in Toronto. This annual event ("the Super Bowl of conferences" as we're referring to it around here) will bring together more than 4,300 association professionals and the industry suppliers that support them. Each year, participation in this conference is an important part of Tourism Toronto's strategy to keep Toronto's profile high with potential association decision makers and this year it is an unprecedented opportunity to show off our great destination and to identify a significant number of future business opportunities. (A survey of the 2,100 association executives expected to attend the 2009 Annual Meeting showed that 91 per cent identified themselves as either a major decision maker, influencer or in a position to recommend destinations and venues for future meetings!) Not only has our destination been gearing up for many months to host this prestigious event, more importantly, we're expecting to see an effect for years to come.

We are still in need of volunteers, so if you are able to assist, please see the item below, under Member Focus.

Global Meeting Professionals Brain Trust
On August 15, in conjunction with our partners the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Tourism Toronto will host the Professional Convention Management Association International Summit. This important event provides a forum for 100 global meeting suppliers and the leading association executives with international meeting needs to put their heads together and discuss the current state of the industry and what the future may bring.

Experient E4
From August 2-5, Tourism Toronto will participate in Experient's Annual E4 Conference. This three-year-old event brings together more than 300 of Experient's top account managers and clients from the association and corporate world along with a select group of industry suppliers. The strategic partnership between the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism Toronto and Experient allows unparalleled access to many important clients and will develop our insight into industry trends while at the same time identifying future business opportunities for the community.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Jul 23-Aug 1 American Crystallographic Association 1,200
Jul 25-Aug 3 American Podiatric Medical Association 3,500
Jul 28-Aug 8 National Black Nurses Association 1,000
Jul 30-Aug 2 Church of God Prophecy 2,500
Aug 3-10 American Psychological Association 15,000
Aug 15-18 ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership 4,300
Aug 24-28 Rogers Communications Inc. - IncentiveWorks 2,000
Aug 30-Sep 8 American Political Science Association 6,000


CONCIERGE DESK

This week's gem from Les Clefs d'Or is about tours of Toronto and is written by:
Ronaldo Breton
Regional Treasurer - Ontario
Les Clefs d’Or Canada

One thing most of us do when we are visiting a foreign city is to take a city tour, yet we rarely take the time to explore our own city in the same way.

Luckily, in Toronto we have a variety of city tour options to choose from!

There are great traditional ways of touring the city, such as bus and harbour tours, or even combining the two by taking the amphibious Hippo Tour. And for the more adventurous there are bicycle, Segway and helicopters tours. Yet one of the most authentic and intimate ways of getting to know a city is undoubtedly by taking a walking tour.

Many great walking tours are available and offered free of charge by well known institutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum. ROM Walks offer walking tours with a focus on local neighbourhoods, highlighting their architecture and history. Heritage Toronto Walks have a similar aim with an added focus on the city's archaeological and natural heritage. The Toronto Botanical Garden offers tours of the Music Garden. At Yonge Dundas Square there are daily, free 90-minute walking tours where you'll discover the past, present and future of this vibrant downtown district. High Park offers walking tours led by naturalists. And for a small fee, you can also take two-hour guided tours of Union Station, as provided by The Toronto Railway Historical Association and the Toronto Terminals Railway.

If you're looking to do something at your own pace, there are also self-guided walks available free of charge from the City of Toronto. These walks are known as Discovery Walks and they link city ravines, parks, gardens, beaches and neighbourhoods. An Old Cabbagetown walking tour map is available through that area's BIA and it highlights the charming Victorian homes you'll find there. Even National Geographic has listed three Toronto walking tours.

Many Toronto landmarks and national historic sites also offer guided tours. Most of them are either free or have a minimal fee, such as the 90-minute Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre tour, which recounts the history and restoration of this unique complex. The Legislative Building at Queen's Park is another popular attraction that offers tours throughout the year. Osgoode Hall opens its doors every summer, giving us the chance to appreciate the splendour of a restored Victorian courtroom along with other significant features. The University of Toronto also offers historical tours of its downtown campus.

Furthermore, thanks to the websites of The Toronto Star and Heritage Toronto, there are now also audio tours, iTours and podcasts available for downloading audio commentary on to your music player, giving you the flexibility to explore the city at your rhythm and pace, while still enjoying the benefits of a "tour guide."

If your touring interests are more specific, you'll find that many tours in Toronto offer a focus on a specific theme or area, such as Toronto tree tours, houses in Old Cabbagetown, VIP shopping, food, ghosts, art walks and gardens.

Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for the first time, there are endless ways of exploring Toronto and discovering our city's hidden gems!

MEMBER FOCUS
Request for Volunteers
ASAE & the Centre for Association Leadership's Annual Meeting & Exposition is taking place in Toronto August 15-18, 2009.This is a singular opportunity to showcase Toronto's hospitality to an influential group of association professionals. We'd love to have you help us! Airport greeters are especially needed. See here for details.

The Tourism Toronto Industry Relations Committee is looking for five additional volunteers to begin their service in September 2009. More details are here.

The Disney Institute comes to the GTA
OTEC - Training & HR Solutions and The DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University are bringing the Disney Institute to the Greater Toronto Area. Join them on September 22, 2009 at the Burlington Convention Centre for "The Disney Keys to Excellence" seminar. Read more here.

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members
Attractions
Walk T.O.
Chowbella Culinary Experiences & Concierge

Industry Suppliers
MacIntyre Purcell - Toronto Book of Everything

Meeting Services
DAM Squared Marketing
Ninutik

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
July 1-Sep 7
Unionville Summer Concert Series
Main Street, Unionville

July 9-Oct 31
Rare White Alligator Exhibit
Reptilia (Vaughan)

July 14-Aug 2
Scotiabank Caribana
Various locations
(NB venue change for Caribana Lime)

July 21-Aug 23
The Harder They Come
The Canon Theatre

Aug 5
Lang Lang & Herbie Hancock
Massey Hall

Aug 7-9
Pilaros Taste of the Danforth
Danforth Avenue

Aug 14-16
Markham Jazz Festival
Markham & Unionville

Aug 15-23
Rogers Cup Tennis
Rexall Centre

Aug 21-23
TD Canada Trust Festival of South Asia
Gerrard Street East

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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"Toronto, Canada's showcase of its West Indian culture is pretty much like what is obtained at most carnivals: lots of tinsel, beautiful, bejewelled bodies and bands trying to outdo each other. Add blistering heat, soca-blaring speakers atop big trucks, sparkling costumes and about a million sweaty, gyrating bodies and it's easy to get the idea of what the staging of Caribana parade was like."

— From the Jamaican Observer, August/08
MEMBER
TOOLKIT
EVENT CALENDAR

UPDATE YOUR LISTING

TOURISM TORONTO 2008 ANNUAL REPORT
TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know? Caribana began in 1967 as the Caribbean community's contribution to Canada's centennial celebrations and gradually evolved into the major summer event it is today.
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Email us at 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.