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Photo: 2008 CONTACT exhibit opening, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Joshua Meles

Over 600 people have already registered for Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting on May 21 at Ontario Place, but there is still time to sign up so please click here for the registration form. More details and the registration link are repeated below in the Member Focus section. Join in.


  • Spring/summer marketing campaign launches
  • Major new citywide convention win for Toronto
  • Business development opportunity for members

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism recently released the report Travel Intentions Study Wave 11 (February '09). The report is a distillation of the results of a survey conducted in February 2009 of 7,500 people from Ontario, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, and the U.S. border markets. The survey asks about travel intentions in the next six months, specifically to Ontario and Toronto, as well as perceptions, barriers to travel and booking habits.

A few key findings from the report are:
  • some key markets show a higher intent to visit Toronto this summer, such as Buffalo, Chicago and Montreal as well as regionally throughout Ontario
  • an encouraging sign is that "intention to visit Toronto" from those surveyed in New York City for the key period of March-August increased from 6.2 per cent last year up to 7.6 per cent this year
  • other markets, such as Detroit and Rochester, are flat or slightly lower
  • perceptions of Toronto for different types of trips (kids, museums, dining, etc.) have remained steady, with good increases in Canadians' ratings of Toronto for culture and arts and "strolling around neighbourhoods"
The full report released by the ministry is available here.

The Travel Intentions research is a partnership between Tourism Toronto, Ontario Ministry of Tourism and FedNor.

Toronto Spring/Summer Consumer Marketing Campaign Launches
Out of the gates earlier than any other year, Tourism Toronto launched its spring/summer consumer marketing campaign on April 23. This major marketing and communications campaign is aimed at increasing overnight visitors from our regional feeder markets in Ontario and Upper State New York this summer. The campaign targets families, couples and girlfriends and positions Toronto as an exciting choice for a weekend getaway as it offers more to see and do than any other destination within driving distance.

As it focuses on bringing to life our summer festivals, theatres, events and attractions, the diverse campaign includes magazine and newspaper ads, inserts, television promotions, advertising in cinemas, online display advertising, radio promotions, PR promotions, search engine marketing and more. The campaign is now live at

Hotels or attractions that would like to participate in our packaging programs or be listed within the special offers section of the campaign pages, should contact Maxine Morrell-West at Donít miss out on taking advantage of the extra traffic this campaign will be driving to the Tourism Toronto website.

May Cause Rekindling Smiles Come FreeIt's Time For Some You Time

Human Genetics Society Coming Back to Toronto in 2019
Tourism Toronto had a chance to showcase the city's attributes during the Society for Human Genetics' annual meeting in 2004, and they have decided to choose Toronto again for 2019. The annual meeting will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and is expected to draw 6,000 attendees representing visitor spending of approximately $9.95 million.

Photography Media Focus on Toronto
Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team hosted seven prominent photography and arts media from the U.S. for the opening week at the CONTACT Photography Festival. Featuring a private gallery tour, access to top artists and walks through Toronto neighbourhoods that showcase CONTACT work, the press tour aims to increase the profile of both CONTACT and Toronto among this influential travel set. The trip included writers from top magazines American Photographer, Anthem, Zink, Tokion as well as high-end arts publications dART and Arts Info. The writer from Anthem blogged throughout his trip. Read about his Toronto adventure here.

American Society of Association Executives' Springtime Expo
TT's Washington D.C. team was in full force as an exhibitor and sponsor at ASAE's 2009 Springtime in the Park Tradeshow in Washington, D.C. on April 16. More than 800 meeting professionals participated in the event, making it one of the largest in recent history. Activity on the tradeshow floor was good with 85 people visiting the booth to learn more about Toronto and to learn more about the ASAE Annual Meeting scheduled for Toronto this August. "Springtime" remains the premiere event in the D.C. area at which to develop and maintain existing client relationships and to identify new business opportunities and raise Toronto's profile in the important D.C. market even higher.

Successful Missions in South America
A team of seven Tourism Toronto members recently returned from Tourism Toronto's first sales mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sao Paolo, Brazil where a series of trade events along with individual business meetings were held in each city. Clients expressed keen interest in the potential for developing outbound travel from these markets to Toronto and Niagara Falls and TT will be working with our trade partners over the coming months to ensure key destination product is featured in new operator programs. Brazil in particular has tremendous potential as a source market. We will be working on developing joint marketing initiatves with some key South American partners. A special note of thanks to Air Canada for their continued partnership on this new initiative.

At the same time, Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team hosted two successful media receptions in Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo. The events welcomed more than 50 top journalists - including print, radio and television outlets - who were all eager to learn more about the destination as well as participate in upcoming press tours and individual visits to Toronto. The events themselves also generated coverage.

Springtime in China
From April 7 to 17, Tourism Toronto joined in the Canadian Tourism Commission's China Spring Events, with OTMP and Niagara Falls Tourism. During the roadshow in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, CTC hosted many training seminars and dinner for the travel trade and media where Toronto had opportunities to showcase the destination. The total industry turnout in the three cities was about 450 trade participants and 50 journalists. Media exposure included Shanghai Business News and Guangdong Business Channel.

Building Relationships in the Medical Community
Tourism Toronto broke new ground with a visit to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The tradeshow on April 21 was the first time the AAOS opened its doors to CVBs in such a way. More than 32 event planners attended representing the AAOS and many of their 21 specialty societies. Developing these new relationships will open the way for more and better business opportunities within the community.

Developing Sports Opportunities
The meetings, conventions and incentive travel team has been busy with multiple sports-oriented business development opportunities in April:
  • the 2009 Sport Event Congress, Canada's largest annual gathering of sport, tourism professionals and event management firms took place in Gatineau, on April 14-16. Just over 200 delegates participated in what was considered the best CSTA conference in the last nine years. The educational component of the Congress fostered lots of new ideas for improving Toronto's bids for events going forward. Tourism Toronto was a key sponsor at the Sports Event Congress and presented two scholarships to key schools in the field. Robert Kawamoto, TT's Regional Director of Sales was elected to the Board of Directors for CSTA during the AGM.
  • on April 28-29 the annual Ontario Colleges Athletic Association AGM and Conference had over 200 representatives from the sporting industry. OCAA is a recognized leader in intercollegiate athletics and organizes and hosts hundreds of intercollegiate sporting competitions encouraging team travel to various locations across the province.
  • on April 27-30 the 2009 NASC Sports Event Symposium, a gathering of Sport Event Owners, CVB professionals and suppliers took place in Denver. 400 delegates participated in a three-day symposium of education sessions, networking and sport marketplace. The sports marketplace is a business-to-business events marketplace where event right holders and TT representatives had an opportunity to meet one-on-one to discuss upcoming sports events for bid.
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto Named Hotel of the Year
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. presented the Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto International Airport with the coveted "Sheraton Hotel of the Year" award at a recent celebration held at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Award criteria included guest satisfaction, index rating, quality assurance ranking, revenue management and overall brand experience metrics for the hotel's guests and clients. The newly renovated 474-room Sheraton Gateway Hotel is the only hotel located directly within the airport grounds.

Business Development Opportunity for Members
Tourism Toronto's Corporate meetings team is inviting members to participate in a U.S. and international prospecting blitz planned for Wednesday, May 20th, 2009. The cost to participate is $100.00 per member (only one representative per company) and includes a qualified list of meeting planners, all of the tools needed to prospect new business for Toronto, lunch, and a final report of all of the customers prospected and what their business potential is. For those interested, please contact Bonnie Howell at

Washington, D.C. Team Amps Up
TT's Washington, D.C. team is both sponsoring and participating in the annual Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPS) Golf Tournament on May 13. This is a great event, immediately on the heels of Springtime in the Park, to keep Toronto's visibility high in the D.C. community and to maintain our excellent client relationships there.

Rendezvous in Calgary
Representatives of the Leisure Trade department, along with several TT members, will be attending the 2009 "Rendez-vous Canada" marketplace, Canada's premier travel trade show for the inbound international markets, from May 10-14 in Calgary, Alberta. Key FIT and group Tour operators from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Mexico and Brazil will participate in pre-scheduled business appointments and networking events.

Spots Still Open for IGLTA Convention May 7-10
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is a growing organization (1000+ members) of gay, lesbian and "community-friendly" worldwide travel professionals. This event offers a number of opportunities for networking, education and participating including a public trade show at the Maple Leaf Gardens and a highly anticipated silent auction where tourism products or services can be introduced to this distinctive marketplace. Our members are encouraged to go to IGLTA's website for more information on how to take part in this exciting event.

Doing Business With the Boss
On May 12, TT's Chicago representative will host 15 high value clients in a suite for the Bruce Springsteen concert. These clients all represent valuable prospective or tentative future business for Toronto. TT remains hard at work building the business pipeline in the Midwest and delivering new leads to the community.

MC&IT Targets Local Corporate Business
On May 30, TT's Corporate team will entertain 20 high value corporate clients at the Elton John and Billy Joel concert at the Air Canada Centre. The clients invited represent companies from the financial, insurance, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and manufacturing segments and all have potential to book additional meetings in Toronto with the current trend of keeping things local.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
May 4-10 Canadian Produce Marketing Association 1,500
May 6-11 Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd/Int'l Academy of Oral Oncology 1,000
May 8-15 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum 5,000
May 18-26 Canadian Soccer Association - Women's Int'l Friendly 2,000
May 24-27 Geological Assoc of Can/Min Assoc Can/Amer Geo Union 6,000
May 26-Jun 7 American Industrial Hygiene Association 10,000

Toronto's Hidden Gem, the Toronto Music Garden
This spring and summer, feel the sun warm your face as you stumble upon one of the most extraordinary parks in Toronto. The smell of sweet mowed grass, the allure of the budding flowers and the brilliance of sunlight illuminates your being. You feel yourself being transported to another world and know that the unexpected is about to happen. It is how one feels when stepping into the Toronto Music Garden, this month's hidden gem.

Toronto Music Garden

The Music Garden was inspired by Bach, brought to life by the internationally renowned cellist, Yo Yo Ma, and designed by Julie Moir Messervy. It is divided into six segments, based on Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello. It starts with the Prelude and ends with the Gigue, but one does not need to be a classical music aficionado to enjoy the serenity and charm of the place. With its cleverly designed gardens and gentle hills serving as a natural amphitheatre, it is a unique and surprising venue to take in a concert or dance performance that encompasses many genres of music. For instance, last year's program included performances varying from a Baroque quartet to Korean drumming to a Persian duo.

The Music Garden is open year-round, with no admission fee, but is best enjoyed in the spring, summer and fall. For a special treat, from June 4 to September 24, catch a one-hour free concert on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. or Sundays at 4:00 p.m. To learn more about the stunning flowers that adorn the Music Garden, take the 45-minute guided tour led by a volunteer from the Toronto Botanical Garden, Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. (pre-concert). If you prefer, a 70-minute personal audio player tour by Yo Yo Ma and the garden's designer is available for a small fee and can be rented at the Marina office. The garden is wheelchair accessible.


Article written by:
Amy Collier
Chef Concierge
The Hazelton Hotel
Member of Les Clefs d'Or Canada

Registration is still open for Tourism Toronto's Annual General Meeting on May 21 at Ontario Place. Please join us for the meeting (registration opens at 2:00 p.m., meeting starts at 3:00 p.m.) for an update on Tourism Toronto's sales and marketing activities for 2009, and networking with industry peers afterward at Atlantis Pavilions, also at Ontario Place. Over 600 members have already signed up, so be sure to register soon. Further details and the registration form are here.

Golf Tournament
There are a few spots still available in the Greater Toronto Hotel Association's 55th Annual Golf Tournament, co-hosted by Tourism Toronto. We invite you to join colleagues and partners in the hospitality industry for a day of golf on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club (8525 Mississauga Road, Brampton). If you are interested in playing, register here. To showcase your business, some great sponsorship opportunities are available.

(N.B. Tourism Toronto will not be holding its annual golf event in September this year.)

Relax, Recharge & Renew Helps 50th Family
As many of you know, Tourism Toronto launched its Relax, Recharge & Renew program last August. The program provides parents of children with special needs a much-deserved break that includes a limousine pick up, a two-night hotel stay, tickets to shows and museums and other attractions, and meals at local restaurants. Two families benefit from these weekend getaways every single week. Due to the generous and unflagging support of our partner members, we are proud to announce that the program has now reached 50 families! Comments from some of the families about how much they appreciate the program can be read on our website.

Thanks to all the generous members who have donated, so far.

For more information about the program and how you can help, you may visit our website or contact Tom Griffin at

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Apr 2-May 16
Glengarry Glen Ross
Young Centre for the Performing Arts

Apr 30-May 10
Hot Docs
Various venues

May 1-31
CONTACT Photography Festival
Various venues

Extended until
Sep 6

Sound of Music
Princess of Wales Theatre

May 6-22
Lula Lounge

May 7-24
Anne of Green Gables - The Musical, presented by Dancap Productions
Elgin Theatre

May 9-15
Tafelmusik's Brandenburg Concertos
Trinity-St. Paul's Centre

May 22-24
Sesame Street Live
Rogers Centre

May 23-24
Distillery Spring Art Show
Distillery District

May 26
Elton John & Billy Joel
Air Canada Centre

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"With two hundred galleries, museums, historic hotel lobbies and assorted public exhibition spaces to visit... there are far too many events to choose from for even those who live in Toronto... but what's a world-class, massive arts festival if not an opportunity to enjoy being beaten into wide-eyed, dumbfounded submission by an overabundance of art?"

— From "Contact Photography Festival" - June 2008 issue of Resource magazine


Did you know? Assembled over a period of eighty years the more than 290,000 photographs in the Black Star Collection at Ryerson University include some of the most iconic events in world history. Events ranging from WWII, through the U.S. civil rights movement to Maoís China were created by image makers who helped define picture journalism in the twentieth century.
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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.