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TOURISM NOW

Singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush accept 1978 Group of the Year honours - Photo: Plum Communications Inc.


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • U.S. marketing campaign kicks off
  • Sports summit
  • TT's AGM is May 31

TOURISM SNAPSHOT
As can be seen in the chart below, Tourism Toronto's Visitor Survey has found significant growth in visitors' intent to return to the city for a pleasure trip within the next two years.

Intent to Return to Toronto for Pleasure in the Next Two Years


Source: Tourism Toronto Visitor Survey


HIGHLIGHTS
U.S. marketing campaign
As a result of a partnership between Tourism Toronto and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Toronto will be highlighted in a four- page insert in prestigious print publications Conde Nast Traveler, The New Yorker and Architectural Digest, as well as in their online publications. The campaign, which constitutes a total media buy of $1.5 million, will launch in May in the key markets of Washington, D.C., New York and Boston and will complement TT's core U.S. consumer campaign which begins in June in these and other U.S. cities.

Toronto highlighted for spring travel
As a result of TT's Media Relations team's efforts with ShermansTravel.com, Toronto has been recognized as one of the best value destinations for spring. ShermansTravel.com calls this time of year the “sweet spot” and identifies 40 places around the world for enjoying the season. HuffingtonPost.com also picked up the story. The two sites combined receive over 14 million unique visitors a month.

On the road to 2012 and 2015
March 5 saw another successful Toronto Sport Council Summit, in partnership with Tourism Toronto, with over 200 sport participants, sport leaders, dignitaries and special guests in attendance. The event served as a launching ground for the 2012 Ontario Summer Games in Toronto. Participants learned how the City of Toronto will work with the community to deliver this showcase event and contribute to the value of sport in Toronto. Participants also heard an update on the planning for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games and how these two major sporting events will integrate.

Luring the jet set
TT's Media team has recently completed a whirlwind weekend getaway press trip with a writer for Elite Traveler magazine compiling information for an extensive feature of the city in an upcoming Destination Getaway Guide. The magazine reaches over 100,000 high-net-worth individuals worldwide as it is distributed in private jet terminals, on private jets, on mega-yachts and in first-class airline lounges.

Luring the car set
Following a media visit to Toronto an insightful article on the emergence of Ossington and the West Queen West neighbourhoods as artistic hubs ran in the influential AAA Car & Travel magazine. The piece reached over 900,000 readers in New York State.

Dinosaur sighting in London
Twelve senior representatives from a dozen of the top corporate third party agencies in the U.K. joined TT's International Corporate team at the sold-out O2 Arena in London, England to see the Toronto Raptors take on the New Jersey Nets in the first ever NBA regular season game played in Europe. The clients were treated to a first class sports evening with a pre-game reception in the arena and courtside seats, giving them an exciting, up-close taste of Toronto in their own backyard.

Reaching a major LGBT market
Following a media visit to Toronto last fall, the LGBT media outlet Bay Area Reporter based in San Francisco, wrote about a range of sights in Toronto both in print and online. Bay Area Reporter is San Francisco's oldest and largest newspaper serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and reaches over 140,000 San Franciscans.

New delights tour
March 3 was a delightful day for the 30 meeting planners who were hosted by TT on a tour of a number of Toronto's newest venues. The clients represented a cross-section of corporate and provincial associations and a range of industries such as pharmaceutical, finance and manufacturing.

WHAT'S NEXT
AGM
Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting is on May 31 at 3:00 at the Air Canada Centre! A networking session will take place immediately afterward at the awesome new Real Sports Bar & Grill, which is right next door to the ACC. Please note that the Greater Toronto Hotel Association will hold its AGM just prior to TT's. Please mark the date and watch for additional details in the coming weeks.

And the JUNO goes to...
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the JUNO Awards and they're coming home to Toronto so the Canadian sales team decided the time was right to host top prospective clients from across Canada. From March 25-28 the Canadian association, provincial association and corporate teams will play host to 12 clients on a special VIP fam tour over the Juno weekend. Not only will they get a chance to see potential venues but also get a behind-the-scenes look into putting on something this size.

Pharma meeting professionals
TT will attend the upcoming 7th Annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Management Forum in Philadelphia from March 27-29. This educational conference gives TT's sales team a chance to mingle with over 400 pharmaceutical meeting professionals while gaining insight into the industry.

Signature event in Montreal
Twenty hospitality partners will join TT to host 60+ clients in Montreal during our upcoming “Signature Event” on March 24. This is a key event for the Canadian corporate sector and sells out every year as meeting planners from the pharmaceutical, financial, automotive and IT industries flock to the networking opportunity.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Mar 11-14 Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation 1,000
Mar 17-21 Comic Con 7,500
Mar 21-27 American Animal Hospital Association

3,600

Mar 24-27 Ontario Modern Language Teachers Association

1,200

Mar 25-28 Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences - JUNO Awards 2011

5,000

Mar 26-29 Alzheimer's Disease International Conference 2011

2,000

Mar 31-Apr 3 Malton Mavericks Youth Basketball Club Inc.

2,000


MEMBER FOCUS
One of TT's own receives multiple honours
Julie Holmen, TT's Director of Sales, Corporate, was recently recognized by Meetings and Incentive Travel magazine as a top Industry Mentor as part of the 2010 Hall of Fame Awards! Then on March 10, Meeting Planners International Toronto Chapter, named Julie both the Supplier Member of the Year and Recruiter of the Year for 2010. These awards come as no surprise to anyone who knows her, as Julie is very active in the industry sharing her considerable expertise by speaking to students and at industry events and volunteering her time on committees. Please join us in congratulating Julie for these well-deserved recognitions!

MEMBER FOCUS
City of Toronto promotional opportunity for attractions
The INFOTOGO Mobile Unit is a mobile information centre, operated by the City of Toronto, that helps tourists and locals alike discover Toronto. The City is currently preparing for the 2011 summer season and is extending the invitation to attractions to take part in the program. Last year the program directly spoke to 29,000 individuals and handed out over 78,000 items of printed material.

If you would like to participate in the program and use a free outlet to promote your attraction venue, please send the material (500 of each item) you would like the INFOTOGO Mobile Unit to distribute to:

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen St. West
8th Floor, West Tower
M5H 2N2
Attn: Bonnie Benitez

Contact: Bonnie Benitez
416-392-9362
bbenite@toronto.ca

Sustainability success stories
In honour of Earth Day on April 22, we are showcasing some of our community's “green” efforts. We'd love to share your sustainability success stories too, so if you have one to tell, please e-mail Cathy Riches at criches@torcvb.com.

International Centre
Since November 2009 the International Centre has been on a journey towards sustainability with an aggressive and comprehensive Corporate Responsibility Program that relies on high standards of environmental stewardship, employee engagement and community service. A few of the highlights are:
  • ENERGY: Retrofits to light fixtures, increasing operational efficiencies and monitoring energy usage have reduced energy consumption by 335,000 kWh.
  • WATER: Switched to an automatic urinal tank flushometer and sensored flushometer system in the majority of the facilities washrooms. This has saved approximately 492,104 litres of water per year.
  • SUPPLIERS: A rigorous company-wide green procurement policy, which includes a Sustainable Procurement Checklist for all of clients and suppliers.

ROM
To complement the important themes of biodiversity and conservation of the ROM's new Water exhibition, the museum's c5 Restaurant Lounge and Food Studio Café have recently partnered with Ocean Wise, to serve only sustainable seafood.

Starting in April, c5 builds upon its successful Green Gastronomy program and partners with Ocean Wise to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Once monthly between April and June 2011 three celebrity Canadian chefs, selected regional fishermen and vintners will create a series of superlative dinner and wine menus using local ingredients and sustainable freshwater fish or seafood.

Toronto Botanical Gardens
At the TBG every day is Earth Day! Staff, volunteers, supporters and community networks work together year-round to bring to life the TBG's green practices, environmental initiatives and educational efforts. Special Earth Day activities include:
  • The Great Potato Challenge! TBG is teaching school kids about growing and giving back to their community. Students will be given potatoes to bring home and shown how easily they multiply when grown in simple recycling bins. Can you beat the TBG's yearly average of 700 lbs of fresh produce donated to the food bank? All potatoes will be donated to the North York Harvest Food Bank.
  • The TBG Rain Barrel Design competition - In partnership with Toronto Master Gardeners, the TBG is selling rain barrels for just $55. Toronto celebrities are being enlisted to reform Plain Jane rain barrels to help raise funds for the TBG's gardens. Decorated rain barrels will be on display and auctioned off to the highest bidders on Earth Day.
  • Spread the Love - The TBG is giving out free compost for your garden - only on Earth Day. Help spread compost onto the TBG's new Woodland Walk and Bird Habitat and take some home for your garden, too. Bring your own container.
  • Have the first opportunity to purchase freshly dug divisions of choice perennials from the TBG garden - As selected by head gardener, Sandra Pella. Bring your own containers.

African Lion Safari
Over the past 40 years African Lion Safari has worked towards the conservation and preservation of numerous endangered and threatened species. Founder Col. G.D. Dailley's original vision was “to create an environment for self-sustaining populations of declining wildlife species.” To date, African Lion Safari has successfully bred over 20 species that are considered endangered and over 30 that are listed as threatened. Over the years, the park has continued to employ the philosophy of working closely with all of its animals and has gained a reputation as an international breeding facility for some of the world's most endangered species.

The Endangered Barn Owl Program hatched 13 Barn owls that were released into the wild between 2009 and 2010. The Barn owls were equipped with a satellite transmitter for tracking. The data collected provides valuable insight into the needs and struggles that face these endangered owls in the wild. In October, 2010 Canadian Association of Zoos & Aquariums presented African Lion Safari with the Col. G.D. Dailley Innovation in Breeding Programs Award for the Barn Owl Breeding Programme. This award is presented to institutions for their success in breeding programs dealing with rare or endangered species.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
  Mar 16-20
Canada Blooms
Direct Energy Centre


Starts Mar 16
The Time of Your Life – Soulpepper
Young Centre

Mar 17-19
March Break Ghost Tracking
Casa Loma

Mar 17-20
Fantastic Mr. Fox – Peel Players
Lester B. Pearson Theatre

To Mar 20
March Break Events
Ontario Science Centre

Mar 21 – 26
Complaints Choir
TBD

Mar 21-27
JUNO week
Various locations/events

Mar 25 – Apr 3
CineFranco
Various locations

March 26
Earth Hour
The Earth

Apr 5
Tower of Power
Living Arts Centre

Apr 7-17
Performance Spring Festival
Factory Theatre

To April 15
Sandra Shamas, Wit's End III
Wintergarden Theatre

To Apr 19
Alice in Wonderland
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People

To May 15
Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe
McMichael Canadian Art Collection


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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"I am beyond honored to be hosting this monumental JUNO Awards in the greatest city on earth."

— Toronto rapper Drake in Billboard magazine.
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TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know?The precursor to the JUNO Awards, called the Gold Leaf Awards, was first held in 1970 at the St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto.
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.