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Photo: Ontario Tourism, 2009


  • Tourism Toronto's AGM highlights
  • IGLTA a big success
  • Argentina media in town
  • Sport business development events

Tourism Toronto's research team has completed its estimates for 2008 and found that the Toronto region welcomed 10.6 million overnight visitors. Spending by overnight visitors to Toronto totalled $3.54 billion in 2008. While spending by American overnight visitors declined by 2 per cent, increases in spending by Canadian and overseas visitors resulted in net growth of $60 million in our destination.

Overnight Visitors to Toronto (millions)
  2006 2007 2008
Canada 6.29 6.87 7.09
U.S. 2.40 2.16 2.04
Overseas 1.43 1.44 1.46
Total 10.12 10.48 10.59
Spending by Overnight Visitors (billions)
  2006 2007 2008
Canada 1.36 1.42 1.47
U.S. 1.19 1.02 1.00
Overseas 1.02 1.03 1.07
Total 3.56 3.48 3.54
Adapted from: Statistics Canada, 2006 and 2007 ITS/TSRC
*2008 data are Tourism Toronto estimates based on data provided by Statistics Canada

Annual General Meeting
Yesterday's AGM was a resounding success. Special thanks to our hosts Ontario Place, Atlantis Pavilions and Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group for their hospitality.

Congratulations to new Board Chair, David Ogilvie, and welcome to the Tourism Toronto Board for 2009-10:

David Miller, Mayor, City of Toronto (Honourary Chair)
Johanne Bélanger, President, AVW-TELAV
Arlene Campbell, General Manager, Direct Energy Centre
Charles Cutts, President and CEO, Roy Thomson and Massey Hall
Nick Eaves, President and COO, Woodbine Entertainment
Drew Fagan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Province of Ontario
Paul Godfrey, President & CEO, National Post
Bob Hunter, Exec. V.P., Venues & Ent., Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Marsha Jones, Consultant, MCC Planners
Lesley Lewis, Director General and CEO, Ontario Science Centre
Andy Loges, General Manager, Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville
Lloyd McCoomb, President & CEO, Greater Toronto Airport Authority
Terry Mundell, President, GTHA
Mike O'Connor, Vice President, Joe Badali's Ristorante
Joe Pantalone, Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto
Jack Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, CN Tower
Sohail Saeed, General Manager, Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East Hotel
Barry Smith, President, MTCC
Nalini Stewart, Director, Public Member
Michael Williams, General Manager, Economic Development, Culture & Tourism, City of Toronto
Rawi Zayadi, General Manager, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Markham

Speaking of David Ogilvie, he has recently been named as Starwood's Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Canada. David has been with Starwood for 29 years, the past five-and-a-half years at the Westin Harbour Castle as General Manager. Previous roles include four years as VP Global Corporate Travel, based in the New York City Global Sales Office and a previous tenure as a Sales and Marketing Regional Director for Starwood North America. Our warm congratulations go to David on his new role!

TT's 2008 Annual Report is now available on our website.

Gay & Lesbian Travel Experts Get Familiar With Toronto
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) held their annual convention in Toronto, May 7-9 and Tourism Toronto, in tandem with local IGLTA members, executed a series of key profiling initiatives aimed at trade, media and MCIT clients, including a Toronto/Niagara familiarization tour and two morning site inspection programs, prior to the convention. Approximately 17 Tourism Toronto members were showcased to 21 LGBT clients during the pre-familiarization tour and hotel site inspection programs.

Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team hosted two prominent LGBT writers during the IGLTA conference in Toronto: The Editorial Director for a cluster of online LGBT outlets including,,,, and, and the Editor of and (each with more than 2 million visitors monthly), were in town researching Toronto and region LGBT offerings from May 7-10.

New York City Sits Up and Takes Notice
Two major New York publications recently ran features about Toronto. "36 Hours in Toronto" is a full-page article in the New York Times and the New York Post item led with "The cultural capital of Canada just happens to be one of the most important cities in the Western Hemisphere. (It is also fun and affordable.)" The coverage is significant as it reaches a coveted market on the eve of Toronto's key summer season.

Waving the Flag Abroad
Tourism Toronto and our luxury hotel partners networked with more than 20 London-based corporate meeting and incentive planners and journalists on Friday, May 8. This exclusive event was hosted at The Hospital Club, a private members club in Covent Garden. Those in attendance had their palates titillated by a "Canadiana" menu and were captivated by Toronto jazz singer, Shannon Butcher. Positive feedback about our activity in the international market and the growing awareness of a destination with truly global appeal are encouraging signs of future growth in this area.

Argentine Press Group Takes in Toronto Arts & Culture
From May 12-16, TT's Media Relations team hosted a group of journalists from Argentina. Represented were El Cronista Comercial newspaper (circulation 43,000 daily), OhLaLa Magazine (circulation 33,000), Bilon Magazine (circulation 25,000 monthly), Los Andes newspaper online (9 million visitors monthly), and LADEVI travel trade magazine (circulation 12,000 weekly). Their tour focused on arts and culture in the city, including CONTACT photography festival last week and a day trip to the Niagara region aboard VIA Rail.

Called Into the Boss's Office
On May 12, Team Toronto entertained 12 high-value association clients at the Bruce Springsteen concert in Chicago. These clients collectively represent more than 100,000 prospective room nights for Toronto. Their feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive, praising the intimate nature of the event and the networking opportunities it provided to our member partners. These signature events are the business development model for the future, permitting solid relationship development opportunities for members and clients.

Mexico's People Visits Toronto
Quien Magazine in Mexico boasts more than 500,000 readers and one of their writers was in Toronto May 11-16 to take the word back to this growing Latin American market about Toronto's hotels, attractions, spas, fashion and fabulous CONTACT photography festival.

MPI Gala in Ottawa
Tourism Toronto wowed the Canadian association market as the 2009 Platinum Sponsor of the Annual Meeting Professionals International Prix Prestige Awards Gala in early May. Toronto had a highly visible presence at this sold-out event of over 320 meetings industry professionals, enabling solid relationship and business development. Highlighting the creativity of the Toronto community keeps the city top of mind in the Canadian meetings market.

Sport Is in the Air
On May 14 in Hamilton, TT's Sport sales team attended the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) tradeshow/reception. This event had 110 public and high school coaches from across the province in attendance. OFSAA is a federation of 18 regional school athletic associations spread across the province whose priority is to support volunteer teacher-coaches to produce and host 46 provincial championships and five festivals for Ontario's student-athletes.

CONTACT Coverage Continues to Roll In
Many prestigious media outlets were represented on a recent press trip hosted by TT's Media Relations team. The coverage has been overwhelmingly positive, such as the item in Artinfo, which is a resource for art professionals and enthusiasts worldwide, and Anthem Magazine, which focuses on progressive culture and icons in style, music, film, art and design.

Ontario Government and Association Hotel Members Update
Recently, the downtown government segment hotel sales managers, arranged by Tourism Toronto's Provincial Association/Government Sales team, held their first ever "Spring Mix & Mingle" with their top government contacts at Fuzion Resto-Lounge & Garden. Member feedback was very positive on the type of event, location, and networking opportunities offered, confirming that this is just the start of bigger and better things to come in achieving the goal of attracting more government group business.

Staying Front and Centre With Sport Event Decision Makers
Tourism Toronto will deliver a presentation on why the Toronto region is the premier sport destination in Canada at the Canadian Sport 4 Life Workshop at the Sport Alliance Building on Friday, May 22. This event will be attended by over 60 sport leaders from across Canada with the majority from Ontario provincial sport organizations.

On the Road Again...
TT will hit the pavement in support of the Canadian meetings industry at the 2009 CAEM Annual National Conference from June 14-16. As the Gold Sponsor of the conference, a recurring position for Toronto, visibility with the 300 industry heavyweights in attendance will be high.

Nighttime Economy Forum
The Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area is sponsoring a one-day Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) conference on Nighttime Economy. The conference is an important information exchange in the areas of managing and planning; liquor licensing; city licensing; and nightlife enforcement and policing.

The conference is on June 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Fee is $100.

Guest panelists include:
  • Terrance Alan - Founding Member - San Francisco Entertainment Commission
  • Rob Bookman - Co-Founder & General Counsel - NYC Nightlife Assoc
  • Steve Georgas - Commander, Chicago Police Department
  • Elizabeth Peterson - President EPG - consultant to over 800 nightlife businesses in Los Angeles
  • David Whitaker - President & CEO - Tourism Toronto
For registration go to RHI's website or for more information please contact Janice Solomon, Executive Director - Entertainment District BIA at 416-926-1337 or

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (2,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
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
Jun 9-20 Society of Nuclear Medicine 7,000
Jun 18-25 International Society of Chemotherapy 3,000

Golf Tournament
Foursomes are filling up quickly so just a few spots are left for a day of golf at the Greater Toronto Hotel Association's 55th Annual Golf Tournament, co-hosted by Tourism Toronto, on Wednesday June 24. Don't miss your chance to join industry leaders and colleagues at the Lionhead Golf and Country Club at 8525 Mississauga Road, Brampton for a day of networking fun. Register here.

Some great sponsorship opportunities are still available too.

Member Spotlight
Are you a new member to the association who would like to showcase your product or service to the Tourism Toronto staff? We are now scheduling Member Spotlight sessions for the months of July and August. To book your spot please contact Nicole Webster in Member Care at 416-203-3809 or

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Opens May 16
Nature Takes Over the ROM
Schad Gallery of Biodiversity

May 1-31
CONTACT Photography Festival
Various venues

Extended until
Sep 6

Sound of Music
Princess of Wales Theatre

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

May 15-Oct 12
Sharks at Stingray Bay
Toronto Zoo

May 22-24
Sesame Street Live
Rogers Centre

May 22-Aug 23
Summer season
Cinematheque Ontario

May 23-24
Doors Open Toronto
Various locations

May 26
Elton John & Billy Joel
Air Canada Centre

May 27 & 30
Nathaniel Dett Chorale
Glenn Gould Theatre

May 29 & 31
Tafelmusik performs Haydn's The Creation
Massey Hall

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

"You'll find 230 hectares of bucolic bliss here: waves lapping tree-lined shores and boats bobbing agreeably between ducks and swans, all with the city's skyline glimmering in the distance. The real draws, though, are the lagoons brimming with fat and fabulous fish."

— from The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, May 2009



Did you know? The Toronto Islands are the largest car-free community in North America and are home to a functioning lighthouse, built in 1808, that is the oldest surviving building in Toronto.
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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.