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  • AeroMexico launches new direct flights to Toronto
  • TT attends international ASAE event
  • Sports tourism gains momentum
  • Member workshops available

Spring is upon us and the Canada Blooms Festival and little green shoots pushing their way up through the soil remind us of warmer and busier days to come. Although Toronto's tourism diversity makes it a year-round destination, spring is a time for us to gear up for the coming festival season with major media, marketing and sales efforts.
PKF Consulting has released its 2009 Canadian Accommodation Industry Outlook in which they are forecasting a slow recovery over the next three years. The full report is available at

Mexico Gets a Little Bit Closer
Tourism Toronto was on hand for the ribbon cutting event marking AeroMexico's new direct flights between Mexico City and Toronto on March 3. The new service underlines the need to expand on business travel and tourism opportunities between two of North America's largest metropolitan areas. AeroMexico joins Air Canada and Mexicana Air in offering this service.

Mexican Media Event
Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team organized a major two-day media event in Mexico City. Joel Peters introduced Canada's Ambassador to Mexico, Guillermo Rishchynski, who honoured Toronto with his presence and delivered a passionate invitation to the Mexican media. In addition, Jorge Morfin, General Director for the CTC in Mexico, added details on the growth in travel from Mexico to Canada and on the visa process. The TT media team met with several press through one-on-one calls, a hosted media lunch and another successful media reception which attracted more than 100 travel, lifestyle, culinary, arts and culture journalists. Visitors to Toronto from this burgeoning market have grown by 80 per cent over the past five years.

ASAE and the Center Annual International Conference
The MC&IT Washington, D.C. team worked this prestigious event at the beginning of March, as part of a contingent representing various aspects of Canadian tourism. Approximately 100 association executives who plan international meetings were in attendance. As part of this initiative, Toronto and the Canadian partners hosted a networking luncheon for all attendees.

Sports Tourism Gains Momentum With Sports Summit
Tourism Toronto, along with the Toronto Sports Council, hosted the "Sport in our Community" summit on Feb 28 at the Westin Harbour Castle. This sold-out third annual summit was attended by over 200 community sport leaders, city councillors, Tourism Toronto hospitality members and members of the media. The Toronto Sports Council and Tourism Toronto have been instrumental in supporting the Pan Am Games 2015 bid and showcased their individual organizations' roles in the games. During a working session at the summit, the Toronto Sports Council received endorsement for its proposal to bid for the Ontario Summer Games 2012, with Tourism Toronto's support, further cementing TTs integral role in bringing major sporting events to the city.

International Media Experience Toronto's Sporting Life
TT's Media Relations team put a squad of sports journalists through their paces on a five-day sports oriented tour. Anchored around the World Baseball Classic, the writers experienced baseball, basketball, golf, horse racing and much more. As a centre for professional sporting excellence with state-of-the-art facilities, we are positioning Toronto as an important destination for sports tourism.

Also leveraging the World Baseball Classic, TT's media relations team brought blogger Rob Bradford from WEEI, the most listened to sports talk radio station in the U.S., to Toronto for a special promotion around the event. As a result of his media visit and our promotion with the station, he posted eight different items on his blog while he was at the World Baseball Classic. averages 451,368 unique visitors and 3,268,782 page views per month.

Experient Conference
From March 2-5, Tourism Toronto and several key members participated in the annual Experient Envision Conference in Kansas City. In league with the Canadian Tourism Commission, TT enjoyed unparalleled access to Experient's Strategic Account Management Team, a group that influences the sourcing of approximately 2 million hotel room nights annually.

Tourism Toronto Shares Sports Expertise
A TT Sports team representative has been asked to be a guest speaker on the topic of sport event bidding and hosting at a workshop on March 28. The Markham Sport Council, York Region Athletic Association, Bill Crothers Secondary School and the Town of Markham are hosting the event. Tourism Toronto supports the sport community within Markham and York Region.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (500+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Mar 13-22 Starwood Hotels & Resorts - Global Rally 3,000
Mar 19-23 Conference Direct - Real Estate Live Show 500
Mar 22-25 Staples - Annual General Conference 900
Mar 27-Apr 4 North American Society for Trenchless Technology 1,200
Mar 27-Apr 3 Society for Human Resource Management 600
Apr 1-5 Ontario Association of Optometrists 500

Member Workshops:

Good Member Morning - Working With the Media
Join us on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 to gain insight into how to maneuver through the world of media relations. TT's media relations specialists plus a panel of experts will outline practical steps for getting more media attention for your business. Details and registration may be found here.

Working With Festivals and Events
Following the success of our Honda Indy Toronto Member Workshop there will be another Festivals and Events Member Workshop held on Wednesday, April 8, 2009. These are popular events, so please register early.

Member Survey
Over 190 members responded to our 2008 Member Care Survey. Thanks to all who responded! Congratulations to Karen Franzen of Beach Studio Tour, who won a foursome of golf for completing the survey. Many thanks to The Club at Bond Head for generously donating the golf foursome.

Tell Us Your News
The Tourism Toronto media relations staff is preparing our quarterly What's New and Happening in Toronto media update, which will be sent to international and domestic media as a source of story ideas. This is the place to communicate news of expansions, renovations, new programming or shows. If you have a newsworthy item to include in What's New, please complete the form found on our website and return the required information by noon on Monday, March 23, 2009 to Emily Sheff by email:

The new Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown is open for business at the corner of Peter and Adelaide, in the heart of the Entertainment District. At the helm of the new property is Robert Roy, General Manager. His more than 23 years in the hotel business in various locations across Canada, including a recent stint as GM in Montreal, equip him well for this new opportunity. Toni Frankfurter, CHSP is also on board, as Director of Sales and Marketing. Tourism Toronto wishes them well in their new roles.

MCC Planners Inc. has changed hands but will continue designing and managing meeting, event and destination management programs. The new Managing Partner is Anita Carlyle, B. Comm, CMP. She will continue overseeing sales initiatives while expanding her role to direct the firm's overall management and practice. New Partner and Creative Director is Sheri Moore, BPR. Sheri offers expertise in meeting, event, technical and creative design and has been with MCC Planners since 1998.

In keeping with their commitment to environmental sustainability, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre has hired Tonya Lagrasta for the role of Sustainability Coordinator. Tonya will focus on minimizing the MTCC's operational footprint by enhancing the environmental and social initiatives currently in place, expanding the MTCC's roster of green meeting services and further infusing sustainable approaches to everyday operations.

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
To Apr 19
Backyard Monsters
Royal Botanical Gardens

To Apr 13
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
Kortright Centre

Mar 16-21
LG Fashion Week
Nathan Phillips Square

Mar 18-22
Canada Blooms

Mar 18-22
Ontario Hockey League Showcase Cup
Hershey Centre

Mar 18-22
Toronto Sportsmen's Show
Direct Energy Centre

Mar 19 & 20
The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma
Roy Thomson Hall

Mar 19-22
International Home & Garden Show
International Centre

Mar 20
Brazilian Friday with Sambacana
Lula Lounge

Mar 21
Equinox Sunrise Ceremony
Robinson-Adamson Grange, Mississauga

Mar 23-Apr 18
Shirley Valentine
Canadian Stage Company

Mar 24
Scenes From Bohemian Life
Four Seasons Centre

Mar 28
Woodbridge Lantern Walk for Earth Hour 2009
City of Vaughan

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"What better way to welcome spring than with flowers, and lots of them? That's the plan at Toronto's "Canada Blooms," North America's second largest indoor garden show, which attracts more than 100,000 people a year."

— The Buffalo News


Did you know? The world-renowned Royal Botanical Gardens propagates over 75,000 annuals for their display gardens each year. They also operate an e-mail hotline for gardening dilemmas:
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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.