Welcome to the third issue of Tourism Now, our newest way of sharing sales and marketing news with our members and partners. We hope you're finding these updates helpful and informative and, as always, we are keen to hear your feedback via
Domestic Travel to Toronto Still a Vital Foundation for Growth
While overseas travel to Toronto continues to grow and the U.S. market remains a challenge, Toronto continues to benefit from growing domestic travel that provides a solid foundation of business throughout the year. New estimates by the Conference Board of Canada show steady growth in domestic travel for both leisure and business. The Conference Board forecasts continued increases in travel to Toronto by Canadians each year for the next four years. In November Tourism Toronto launches a new marketing campaign to attract visitors during the November-December holiday season. The campaign targets priority Ontario markets, inviting visitors to experience Toronto's shopping, sports and entertainment offerings.

Canadian Overnight Visitors to Toronto
2006 2007 2008*
6.29 M 6.53 M 6.73 M
+3.5% +3.9% +3.0%

Source: Conference Board of Canada estimates

Big Weekend With Buffalo Bills
Tourism Toronto has partnered with Rogers Centre, the Buffalo Bills, and our member hotels to offer multi-night packages in Toronto for the first regular season NFL game ever played in Toronto. The promotional push in Ontario, Western New York and South Florida is designed to entice visitors to come for the NFL action and stay for the many attractions the city has to offer, driving valuable visitation in December. The Bills vs. the Miami Dolphins game is on December 7 and packages are available through TT's special website as well as the main website

Toronto Ranks Fourth in the World for Cultural Experience
A new study on globalization in the Washington, D.C.-based Foreign Policy magazine ranks Toronto as the world's fourth best city to experience culture, behind only London, Paris and New York. The study that resulted in the Global Cities Index assessed 60 urban areas around the globe in five broad categories: business, human capital, culture, global political influence and the centrality of the city to global information flows.

The "cultural experience" category assesses cities' museums, performing arts and restaurants, and tallies international travellers and international sporting events. Toronto received praise for the quality and cosmopolitan nature of its cuisine and the city's place in the North American touring circuit.

Canadian Labour Congress Coming Back
TT's Ottawa sales office recently re-signed the Canadian Labour Congress and its Constitutional Convention for May 2017. This signing brings us to 86 per cent of our 2008 total room-night goal. With approximately 3,500 delegates, the CLC's Constitutional Convention has an estimated economic impact of over $3,700,000 to the community.

Halloweek Promotions in Chicago
With last year's creation of the week-long Halloweek Festival by the Church-Wellesley BIA, with support from Tourism Toronto, the city has become even more glamorous and ghoulish at this time of year. The festival started on October 24 and culminates in a final freaky night on Church Street on Friday, October 31. Through TT's gay and lesbian marketing initiatives, Halloweek has been prominently positioned in Chicago through a partnership with the Windy City Media Group, which includes some of the most influential media in Chicago's gay market. The marketing program included sponsorship of the Chicago Gay Idol Competition, radio spots and podcasts running from June-October on Look for the orange-lit CN Tower that will lend an eerie glow to Toronto's Halloween night skyline. Check out for details.

Journalists See Our Artistic Side
Timed to coincide with Nuit Blanche, the TT Media Relations team recently hosted seven prominent journalists from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City for an "arts and culture" tour. Along with Nuit Blanche, the press trip highlighted ongoing architectural and cultural changes and the recharged artistic consciousness of the city.

MC&IT Rocks the Convention World
Representatives from Tourism Toronto, the CTC and several members took advantage of two in-demand concert events to host high-value convention clients in October. While Janet Jackson and Madonna entertained, the convention sales entourage leveraged the intimate networking time to deepen relationships with top client prospects in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, respectively. Collectively these prospects represent 234,000 room night bookings in various stages of the sales cycle.

China Central Television Covers Toronto
Tourism Toronto showcased Toronto as a green and innovative city for the China Central Television Channel 10 (CCTV-10) in mid October. CCTV is the largest TV group in China, with 16 channels and nearly 1.2 billion viewers. CCTV-10 plans to make two twenty-minute episodes featuring Toronto for broadcast early next year. The television crew was hosted in Toronto by TT's China Sales team in partnership with OTMPC.

Corporate Sales Fêtes Montreal Clients
TT's MC&IT Corporate team, along with 15 hotel and meeting venue members, hosted 50 clients at two separate events in Montreal. This was an opportunity to show appreciation to major corporate clients for past business, to update them on new developments and encourage them to consider Toronto for future conventions and meetings.

Mississauga Blossoms
The City of Mississauga was recently presented with the prestigious Communities in Bloom national award in the large city category (population of 300,000 plus) during the Communities in Bloom National Awards Ceremony in Lethbridge, Alberta. In addition to winning the national award, Mississauga received special recognition for community involvement, due to the collaborative efforts of all sectors - residential, institutional, educational, commercial and municipal - of the area. Congratulations to Mississauga city staff, businesses and the many volunteers for this prestigious recognition.

Talking About Trendsetting
A group of influential journalists from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, who write about trends, recently toured the cutting edge of Toronto. The trip highlighted attractions, nightlife, architecture, science, arts and culture as well as local sustainability initiatives that illustrate Toronto innovation.

Toronto New York
TT's media and corporate sales teams are off to New York City to host media and client prospects as part of a strategy to show more of Toronto's creative edge to the New York market. TT is working in partnership with the Contact Photography Festival - the largest photography festival in the world held every May 1-31 in Toronto - to show the work of Toronto artists and introduce some of the artists themselves to a New York audience. The media event on November 6 will also feature the upcoming opening of the Art Gallery of Ontario, all in an effort to raise excitement about Toronto as an arts destination. The client dinner on November 10 focuses on Toronto's luxury story, in partnership with eight luxury hotels.

Hyatt to Have Entertainment District Presence
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts recently announced it will operate and manage the 394-room Hyatt Regency Toronto at 370 King Street West on behalf of King Street Enterprises. The hotel, formerly operated as a Holiday Inn, will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation and open in January 2009.

Join Tourism Toronto in Shanghai for CITM
Tourism Toronto, in partnership with OTMP, will exhibit in the Canada stand at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai Nov 20-23. If you are interested in attending CITM or learning about other opportunities targeting the China inbound market, please contact Grace Huang at

IGLTA Seeks Chic in Toronto
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is inviting its members to SEEK CHIC in Toronto, as registration for the May 2009 conference is now live on IGLTA is the world's leading travel trade association committed to growing and enhancing its members' gay and lesbian tourism business through education, promotion and networking. Having won the bid against Philadelphia and Seville, Spain, Toronto is now working out the details to ensure the influential group's convention and visit is representative of what the city has to offer gay leisure and business travellers.

Performance Group Market Starting to Perform
The groundwork laid by the new initiative to target potential North American student festival and event operator companies and sell the GTA as a destination is continuing to pay off as the Canadian Cantando Festival visited the GTA to source a performance venue for their April 2010 music festival. This event has the potential to attract 3,500 room nights.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (750+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Oct 31-Nov 2 Market America Inc. 900
Nov 15-16 Toronto Olympic Club 850
Nov 15-17 Ontario Track & Field Association 850
Nov 22-Dec 1 College of Family Physicians of Canada 2,000
Nov 29-Dec 4 Public Health Agency of Canada 1,100

Deadline Approaching to Advertise in Toronto Magazine and Toronto Visitor Guide
This year for the first time, TT members have the opportunity to reach visitors directly in Toronto area hotel rooms through an official Tourism Toronto publication. The new Toronto Magazine, introduced in 2008, will be distributed in hotel rooms across the region, including special editions in Mississauga - West Toronto and York Region - North Toronto. In addition to hotel rooms, more than 230,000 copies of Toronto Magazine will reach travellers planning a trip to Toronto, meeting planners and delegates, travel media and tour operators. TT also publishes 750,000 copies of the annual Toronto Visitor Guide that are distributed to visitors in Toronto to help them explore, choose activities, restaurants and shopping destinations. Don't miss your chance to showcase your business to more than one million visitors through official TT publications. Contact TT's representative, Duane Seamans, at to reserve your ad before October 31.

Member Events
The Park Hyatt was a wonderful host for the October 21 Mix, Mingle & Learn. Over 400 members heard reports on TT's activities and results in 2008, and the Business Plan for 2009 including priority markets and sales and marketing strategies, and also took advantage of the networking reception afterwards. If you did not make it out to this event, your next chance to meet, greet and indulge is at our Holiday Party on December 3. Join us at the MTCC from 4:00 p.m. onward. Register now. We are pleased to announce that proceeds will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Spotlight on You
Keep your company top of mind by presenting your service, venue or event to our staff at a Member Spotlight. Staff from the sales, marketing and media relations teams attend these events and want to hear about what you do. Contact Nicole Webster at or 416-203-3809 to schedule your time in the Spotlight.

Building Business Partnerships
One of the greatest advantages of being part of a membership-based organization is the opportunity it presents for your organization to build relationships with other members in your industry or target market. Through the website and the membership directory, TT provides the tools for you to reach out to your fellow members. We encourage you to take advantage of these free contact lists.

Join Canada's Tourism Industry Summit
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) holds its annual Tourism Summit next week in Ottawa, bringing tourism businesses and associations together to discuss issues affecting tourism across the country. On behalf of our partners at TIAC, we encourage everyone to consider attending. More information is available here.

Green Event for Members
Over 50 members attended a member information session on green and sustainable business practices held by Tourism Toronto. Speakers from Innovolve, Green Enterprise Toronto and the Direct Energy Centre shared their strategies for green meetings and for making sustainability a competitive advantage. TT staff outlined the eco-friendly efforts being made in our offices, from reducing waste, to carbon offsets of press, staff and familiarization trip flights, to Earth Day and how TT is leveraging the green story to gain more leisure and convention business.

For those who were unable to attend the event, a copy of the presentations can be found here. As well, a wealth of resources is available on TT's "green" website.

Pascal Forotti, the General Manager for the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, is moving to New York to be Hotel Manager for the Four Seasons. After many years with InterContinental, Mr. Forotti expressed excitement tinged with sadness about his move, saying "it was not easy for me to leave my team and Toronto but mainly InterContinental, with which I have spent 16 wonderful years in 7 exciting hotels and cities!" At Tourism Toronto we echo the sentiment as we will miss a great friend, but wish him much luck and happiness in his interesting new role.

Sharon Dayal the Director of Event Coordination for MTCC, has been named the winner of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Distinguished Convention Services Manager of the Year Award. The Distinguished Convention Services Manager of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of convention services and is presented annually to the convention service manager or convention coordinator in PCMA's North America-wide membership who has shown exceptional performance, professional expertise and seamless dedication. Winners of the 2008 Achievement Awards will be officially recognized at the PCMA Annual Meeting in January 2009. Tourism Toronto congratulates Ms. Dayal on receiving this special honour.
Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
Oct 3-Nov 1
Halloween Haunt
Canada's Wonderland

Oct 22-Nov 1
Intl. Festival of Authors

Oct 24-31
Church-Wellesley Village

Oct 25-Mar 22
The Nature of Diamonds
Royal Ontario Museum

Oct 31
Lipizzaner Stallions
Hershey Centre

Nov 4-5
TSO - Broadway Rocks
Roy Thomson Hall

Nov 5
Window Wonderland
Downtown Yonge area

Nov 7-9
Fall Cottage Life Show
International Centre

Nov 10-16
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Direct Energy Centre

Nov 10-16
Toronto International Flamenco Festival

Nov 11-15
Living Arts Centre

Nov 14
AGO's Grand Opening!

For a complete listing of events please go to our online events calendar.
"Toronto is arguably the capital of the zombie world."

— From an article in The National Post on the Toronto Zombie Walk, October 18.


Most Torontonians know about the Bay Street "ghost station" (a.k.a. Lower Bay station) but did you know there is a Lower Queen and other ghost stations? For more, read James Bow's excellent article Toronto's Lost Subway Stations.
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Email us at 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

Tourism Toronto is located at 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1A7.