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TOURISM NOW
TOURISM NOWMAY 26, 2010

Photo: Guitarists go for a record during Luminato 2009, courtesy of torontowide.com


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • RRR program awarded again
  • TT Goes to Washington
  • Argentina press trip

TOURISM SNAPSHOT
Hotel occupancy in Toronto continues to show signs of recovery as Toronto was ranked first in growth among 28 North American cities in April, with an occupancy increase of 19.3 percent. Toronto's April occupancy was 69 percent, putting it at 6th place, up from 16th last year. The list below sets out the participating destinations eligible for inclusion by Smith Travel Research.
 
Top 28 Cities in North America Ranked by Growth
 
City Growth in Occ % Rank
Toronto 19.3 1
New Orleans 16.1 2
Boston 15.9 3
Chicago 11.9 4
Seattle 9.4 5
Detroit 8.7 6
Phoenix 7.0 7
Tampa-St Petersburg 7.0 7
St Louis 6.7 9
L.A. 6.6 10
Minneapolis-St Paul 6.3 11
Atlanta 5.9 12
New York 5.4 13
Miami 5.4 13
Philadelphia 5.1 15
Anaheim-Santa Ana 4.7 16
USA 4.7  
Washington 4.6 17
San Francisco 4.6 17
Nashville 4.2 19
San Diego 3.9 20
Dallas 3.8 21
Denver 3.6 22
Canada 3.0  
Montreal 2.0 23
Vancouver 0.1 24
Oahu Island -0.3 25
Orlando -0.5 26
Houston -4.2 27
Norfolk-Virginia Beach -7.1 28
 
Data from Smith Travel Research


HIGHLIGHTS
RRR Wins Another Prestigious Award
The IMEX "Commitment to the Community" award is a globally-recognized honour that is given out every year in Frankfurt, Germany and this year it recognized Tourism Toronto's Relax, Recharge, Renew program as its 2010 winner. The IMEX awards program recognizes individuals and companies who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the meetings and incentive travel industry. We are extremely proud of this unique program and the support we have received from nearly 200 Tourism Toronto member organizations since we began nearly two years ago. This is the fourth award the program has earned in the past eight months.

TT Goes to Washington
Tourism Toronto hosted a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to increase media awareness of Toronto as world media prepare to come here for the G8 and G20 Summits. In partnership with the City of Toronto and Invest Toronto, we brought an A-team of Toronto ambassadors, led by Mayor David Miller, filmmaker Deepa Mehta and Roots co-founder Michael Budman. More than 35 media filled the room, including Reuters, Associated Press, BBC and other global news agencies. As a result of this outreach we are now booking special Toronto tours with many of these influential media that will lead to extended coverage of Toronto.

Toronto Opens Its Doors to Argentina
Tourism Toronto Media Relations hosted writers from the influential Argentinean publications Barzon and Summa magazines from May 27-June 1. The group experienced Doors Open and some of the art, design and architecture scene in Toronto. Barzon targets young, urban readers and reaches 36,000 of them a month. Summa is the most read architectural magazine in Argentina with 45,000 upscale readers monthly. The magazine is also distributed in parts of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Spain.

Watkins Rating Gets Press
Toronto's stellar reputation among meeting planners has been getting much attention in prestigious industry publications such as Meetings.net, Convene, MeetingsCanada.com, Conworld.net and Panrotas in Brazil. As we reported in the last Tourism Now, Tourism Toronto was ranked number one among 46 cities in North America for "Superior Convention and Visitors Bureau / Destination Marketing Organization" by top meeting planners surveyed by Watkins Research Group Inc. In the same survey, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was chosen for "Superior Convention Centre Services."

Mississauga 36th Annual Sports Awards Dinner
On June 3, TT's Sports sales team joined with the Mississauga sport community to celebrate the accomplishments of athletes, coaches and volunteers who are community sport builders in Mississauga. The Mississauga Sports Dinner is one of the longest running community sports dinners in Canada and with over a dozen sports represented it was a great opportunity for TT to network and show its support.

Selling to the Sellers
June 6-8 saw the Direct Selling Association's annual meeting in San Francisco and TT's Corporate sales team was front and centre. DSA is the national trade association of leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services directly to consumers. Approximately 200 companies are members of the association, including many well-known brand names. TT had the opportunity to network with top executives and decision makers from a variety of companies who book incentive trips and hold large meetings.

Luring Meeting Planners
Three hundred key meeting planners and suppliers were in attendance at the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners Spring Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in mid-May. Tourism Toronto hosted the closing breakfast and exhibited at the tradeshow as a prominent reminder that Toronto is hosting NCBMP's Annual Fall Conference this year from Dec 1-5. Eight hundred planners and suppliers are expected to attend this lively conference.

Southwestern Ontario Outreach
On May 27, TT's Canada Corporate and Provincial Associations sales teams hosted two signature events. Held in Cambridge and London, both events were well received by over 60 clients combined and 15 member partners who participated. Each event was sold out and many business leads were generated.

WHAT'S NEXT
Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (800+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Jun 9-15 Toronto Tango Festival 1,000
Jun 11-13 Athletics Ontario 1,200
Jun 14-18 Bombardier Aerospace Head Office 1,500
Jun 15-22 Toronto Intl Dragonboat Race Festival 900
Jun 19-24 Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centre - AGM 800
Jun 25-27 Sing Fai Sports Club - Asian Community Games 3,500
Jun 25-Jul 9 Shriners - Imperial Council 10,000
Jun 27-Jul 1 International Corporate Governance Network 800
Jun 29-Jul 9 Tournament Time - Toronto Cup 2010 1,200
Jun 30-Jul 2 Argonaut Rowing Club - Canada Day Regatta 1,500


PEOPLE & PLACES
Groupe Germain recently announced that Paul de La Durantaye will oversee the new Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square as its General Manager effective immediately. He assumes these responsibilities in addition to his current role as General Manager of Hôtel Le Germain Toronto on Mercer Street, a position he has held since 2009.

CONCIERGE DESK

This month's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Carolina Avaria
Chef Concierge
Director of Ontario
Les Clefs d'Or Canada
Intercontinental
Toronto Yorkville

Hidden Gem - Hart House
Hart House at the University of Toronto is not only a striking Neo-Gothic historical building in the heart of our city, it has also been a major centre for creative minds since its opening on November 11, 1919 by the Duke of Devonshire. The idea of a social hub came from a 22-year-old student, Vincent Massey, and when completed, the House was named after his industrialist and philanthropist grandfather Hart Massey.

The two-storey building is divided into two distinct sections with the north side being the athletics club and the south side being more of a social clubs area. Although it is difficult to get a glimpse of the magnificent historic swimming pool in the athletics section without a membership, the south side is absolutely welcoming and most worthy of a walk through.

You can enter the building off Hart House Circle just east of the stunning Soldier's Tower (dedicated to the members of the University who served in the great wars) and head up the west staircase to the second floor where a set of striking wooden doors leads you to one of the most historical libraries in the city. With its interesting ceiling, windows, benches and magnificent fireplaces you will definitely be drawn in for a rest. The majority of this second floor is taken up by historical rooms which can be rented for events but are mostly used by clubs such as the Debates Club, active since 1945. (The records of all the clubs since opening are beautifully displayed in two wooden cases found on the landing of the main west staircase.)

At the far east end of the second floor is a gem to view and to dine in, the Gallery Grill and Bar. The restaurant, once the faculty's dining area, overlooks the Great Hall which was once the students' cafeteria - these would have been primarily male students as, remarkably, Hart House excluded women up until the early 1970s unless accompanied by a male.

To truly enjoy the Great Hall, head down to the first floor and step into the room; the magnificent stained glass windows, intricate timber ceiling and recently restored coat of arms from all universities in the Commonwealth will gently transport you to the 1920s.

Now on the main floor, you will find several other gems such as the impressive Hart House Founders Prayer engraved on the wall just outside of the Great Hall, the magnificent 18th century map of the University, found on the wall of the sitting room of the campus radio station, CIUT, or the beautiful 1920s fresco painted on the walls of the little Chapel.

Although the House is adorned with beautiful and interesting art throughout - collected by the Arts Club since 1921 - art lovers can also visit the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery on the far west end of the main floor.

For a final wow, head down to the lower level where you will find a wall of historical photos of the House. It was absolutely moving for me to see the selection of historical events highlighted: the diners in the Great Hall in action, the opening ceremonies with the Duke and the back lawn set up as a military training camp filled with tents and young soldiers that gave their lives for our country.

In short, Hart House is indeed a historical capsule of our city which I know will be enjoyed by anyone who loves Toronto.

MEMBER FOCUS
Business Opportunities for Members
In order to provide our members with opportunities to bid on events and other jobs, TT sales teams and clients regularly send out requests for proposals ("RFP") to members. To ensure your company is engaging in the RFP process and you don't miss out on business opportunities, we encourage our members to:
  • check email regularly for Tourism Toronto communications;
  • have two people listed as contacts for receiving leads;
  • respond by the deadline indicated in the RFP.
Also be sure to frequently check the business opportunities area on TT's website.

Golf Tournament Down to Short Strokes
We're getting close to the deadline for signing up for the Greater Toronto Hotel Association's 56th Annual Golf Tournament, co-hosted by Tourism Toronto, so please register now if you would like to join colleagues and partners in the hospitality industry on Thursday, July 8 at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club. Register here.

To showcase your business, a few sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Kelly Ing at the GTHA for more information, 416-351-1276 or king@gtha.com.

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members

Attractions & Events
Jerk Fest
Queen Street West BIA

Meeting Services
Restaurant Events


Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
  Jun 3-Aug 26
TIFF Summer Season
Cinematheque Ontario

Jun 11-20
Luminato
Various locations

Jun 13
Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence
Bata Shoe Museum

Jun 12 & 13
Woofstock
St. Lawrence Market area

Jun 18-20
Mississauga Waterfront Festival
Memorial Park - Port Credit

Jun 19 & 20
Toronto Botanical Garden's - Through the Garden Gate
The Beach

Jun 19-Sep 26
Drama & Desire
AGO

Jun 19
Brampton Flower City Parade
Main St., Brampton

Ending Jun 20
Featuring Loretta
Factory Theatre

Jun 20
AR Rahman
Air Canada Centre

Jun 25-Jul 4
TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Various locations

Jun 30-Jul 4
Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival
Various waterfront locations

Jun 30-Jul 11
Toronto Fringe Festival
Various locations

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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"I left the city with a feeling that Toronto is very much on the rise, casting aside its wintry persona and thriving on the back of what is clearly a dynamic and exciting creative scene."

— Luminato press trip coverage from
Lost At E Minor

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TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know? 5,834 artists participated in Luminato over its first four years, including 4,875 Canadian and 959 international artists.
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.