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TOURISM NOW
TOURISM NOWSEPTEMBER 9, 2009

Photo: George Pimentel/Wire Image for the Toronto International Film Festival


IN THIS ISSUE - HIGHLIGHTS

  • Late summer campaign invites visitors to come and play
  • TIFF sparks media and sales activity
  • Toronto Zoo offers sustainability opportunity
  • New "hidden gem" from Les Clefs D’Or

TOURISM SNAPSHOT
A review of the past four months of hotel performance data for the Toronto area indicates small but encouraging signs of recovery.

The first table reflects a gradual increase over the summer in all three areas of occupancy, average daily room rate and revenue per room.
 
28-Day Trend
  May 2-
May 31
June 1-
June 28
June 30-
July 26
August 1-
August 29
Occupancy -15.0% -11.5% -7.4% -5.8%
ADR -17.9% -13.3% -9.4% -6.9%
RevPar -30.5% -23.3% -16.1% -12.4%
 
Of note, the second table reflects that weekend occupancy is recovering at a much faster rate than mid-week. Summer in general and industry efforts have emphasized the area's abundance of festivals and events, and weekend getaways for near-market visitors.
 
28-Day Trend - Occupancy
  May 2-
May 31
June 1-
June 28
June 30-
July 26
August 1-
August 29
Sun - Thur -17.7% -15.0% -10.2% -6.7%
Fri - Sat -9.2% -2.1% -0.7% -3.8%
 
Data courtesy of Smith Travel Research


HIGHLIGHTS
Visitors Invited to Come and Play
In response to current market conditions in the U.S., Tourism Toronto is putting more emphasis on key traditional markets, close to Toronto, for our end of summer/early fall advertising campaign. To generate traffic to Toronto during September and October and virtual traffic to our website for hotel and package bookings, the on-line campaign will invite visitors to come and enjoy a vibrant, chic, sophisticated city that is also accessible and friendly. The campaign runs Sept. 8 - Oct. 31 and will appear on sites such as WomensDay.com, Elle.com, SweetSpot.ca and Toronto.com.

Toronto Je T'aime
Tourism Toronto's Media Relations team welcomed six media from Quebec and France August 25-30, to showcase Toronto's French influences and culture. Some of the media outlets represented were Easyvoyage and Vacances Pratiques, both websites dedicated to travel and tourism information, and Voyages D'affaires, a magazine for business travellers.

TIFF Featured in Prestigious Publication
TT collaborated with TIFF on a special advertising section that appeared in recent issues of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker magazine. The Vanity Fair is a special collectors' edition and the four-page spread, with a profile of Co-Director Cameron Bailey, enticing editorial and glamourous photos, shows the city at its artsy best. The concluding page highlights other cultural centres and events in Toronto and encourages visitors to go to www.SeeTorontoNow.com to explore our hotel packages.

Upscale Brazilian Media Outlets Feature Toronto
Several media outlets in Brazil have featured Toronto as a result of a recent press trip hosted by TT's Media Relations team. Viagens Gerais magazine and Viagens Gerais website, as well as a travel segment on Radio CBN in Minas Gerais where the journalist highlighted her experiences in Toronto. Viagens Gerais is an upscale magazine published monthly with 35,000 subscribers and a website with more than 60,000 visitors monthly.

More German Results
As a result of a German press group Media Relations hosted in June, an article titled "48 Hours in Toronto" appeared in Die Welt. It is Germany's leading national daily newspaper with circulation of 350,000. The article has an advertising equivalency of $50,000.

Respected Travel Expert Features Family-Friendly Toronto
After more than two decades as travel correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America and most recently as Travel Editor for NBC's Today show, Peter Greenberg continues to be America's most recognized and respected travel expert. A correspondent for petergreenberg.com was recently hosted by Media Relations at TT for a visit to a number of family-oriented attractions.

WHAT'S NEXT
Raising Funds, Awareness and Toronto's Profile in the Sport Community
The TT Sport team is in Ottawa Sep 9 & 10 for the 23rd Annual Betty Tweedy Golf Classic. The golf tournament provides an opportunity to raise funds for cancer research while connecting with national sport organizations who will be considering locales for upcoming events. This event has significance in the sport community as it is held in honour of Betty Tweedy, a former sports administrator, who died of lung cancer. Tourism Toronto is pleased to play a role in the effort to increase awareness and raise funds for cancer research.

Toronto to Host CSTA 2010
Tourism Toronto is pleased to announce that Toronto will be host to the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance's (CSTA) 2010 Sport Event Congress. The CSTA conference is Canada’s largest annual gathering of sport tourism professionals and event management firms and attracts approximately 300 delegates each year. The event will take place at the Doubletree by Hilton - Toronto Airport, April 21-23, 2010. It has been 10 years since the event was hosted in Toronto, so the conference will be an excellent platform to update sport planners on everything our destination has to offer. Please visit the CSTA website for more conference details and watch for notification about opportunities for your organization to get involved.

Major Chinese Media Outlet in Town for TIFF
TT has partnered with TIFF and OTMP to host a film crew from China Central Television 6 - China Movie Channel (CCT6 - CMC) during the film festival. CCT6 - CMC is the national movie channel in China and reaches two hundred million households. World Film Report, a program focused on global cinema, will be in Toronto for 12 days to capture both the excitement during the festival and the general flavour of Toronto and environs.

Potential Corporate Clients Get a Taste of TIFF
The film festival provides a glittering opportunity to showcase the city's fun and glamourous side, as 20 potential corporate clients are being hosted by TT's Corporate team and our luxury hotel partners. A film screening, private fashion show, educational session and cooking class are just a few of the events planned to highlight what Toronto has to offer the discerning client.

Upcoming Meetings & Conventions (1,000+ Delegates)

Dates Meeting/Group Name Attendees
Sep 8-14 DC Group - Mazda Canoe/Kayak Knockout 2,000
Sep 9-14 Reed Life Sciences 2,000
Sep 9-14 Photo Marketing Association International 2,000
Sep 14-20 African Methodist Episcopal Church 1,500
Sep 18-24 International Council of Shopping Centres 2,100
Sep 20-28 American Bar Association - Taxation Section 1,000
Sep 30-Oct 9 APICS - Association for Operations Management 3,000


CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Gorillas Called...
...and they want their habitat back. The Toronto Zoo is one of many wildlife institutions collaborating with ECO-CELL to educate visitors and the public about the significant negative effects the cellphone industry has on wildlife, particularly on gorillas and gorilla habitat in Africa. Your organization can participate by getting your own ECO-CELL/Toronto Zoo-decorated recycling box where people can recycle old cell phones, including batteries, pagers and other portable electronic devices. Details about the program and how to participate can be found here.

While we're on the topic of sustainability, in keeping with our commitment to support eco-friendly meetings, we're proud to note that the recent ASAE & The Center Annual Meeting & EXPO was another zero-waste event.

PEOPLE & PLACES
The Greater Toronto Airport Authority was recently honoured by the Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) with an award for its Partners in Project Green and Pearson Eco-Business Zone program. The goal of the program is to allow the GTAA and other businesses with the Toronto Pearson Eco-Business Zone the chance to implement projects and business initiatives that turn challenging environmental goals into practical, sustainable business opportunities. Toronto Pearson is the first airport to win in the new Special/Innovative Projects category in the ACI-NA 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards. Congratulations to Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO, and his team at the GTAA for winning such a prestigious award.

Marsha Jones, volunteer extraordinaire and TT Board member, has been recognized by Meetings Canada by being one of the inaugural inductees to the M&IT Hall of Fame. The group represents industry leaders who have made outstanding contributions and lasting impressions in the development of the Canadian meeting and incentive travel industry. Our warm congratulations and thanks to Marsha Jones!

CONCIERGE DESK

This month's hidden gem from Les Clef's d'Or is by:
Genevieve Archibald
Chef Concierge
InterContinental Toronto Centre
Member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada

Hidden Gem - The Guild Sculpture Garden
Perhaps the reason why the Guild Sculpture Garden is so unknown to Torontonians, outside of its immediate neighbours, is the ominous structure that hides it from the public. The Guild Inn was once a place of art and culture and generally happy times. It has been a private residence, a school, a military hospital, a hotel, an arts and crafts centre...a place that hosted many weddings, birthdays and baby showers in recent times.

In 1932, Rosa and Spencer Clark, a socially conscious couple, purchased the home, now referred to as The Guild. It was the heart of the Great Depression and they shared a common belief that arts and crafts were necessary elements for the fullest enjoyment of life. Later, the inn was bought by the city, and as it lost popularity as a vacation spot it declined, until it was closed in 2001. (Very recently, the inn was taken over by Centennial College and will be restored and run as a hotel, restaurant, and conference centre for use in the school's hospitality courses, as well as to act as a location for the college's Cultural and Heritage Institute.)

If you venture past the boarded up buildings, you will find an immaculate garden of 70 architectural sculptures made up of the facades of Toronto buildings that were being torn down between 1950 and 1981, prior to Heritage Preservation Laws. It consists of mostly late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century building fragments and each one has a copper plaque to indicate where it came from, such as the Bank of Toronto or the entranceway to the original Granite Club. Each plaque tells a story and each sculpture emits the energy of its time and place. It is a beautiful graveyard and testament to this period's architecture.

Beyond the sculpture garden you will find another treat, a scenic trail through a forested area atop the Scarborough Bluffs. Bring your camera, a picnic and a blanket - you won't want to leave! Parents, hold on to your children, the short fences between you and the edge have been stepped on and grown over and it is a long way down! The views from the lookout points are like no other in the city. Beautiful Lake Ontario from this vantage point makes you think you are somewhere in the Caribbean, if you imagine the oaks, maples and pines to be palm trees.

It is in this forested area that you will come across lush patches of the floral emblem of Ontario in the early spring, the trillium. You may even see the less common red trillium. These plants can take eleven years before producing a flower so, although some have heard that it is illegal to pick them, it is more a practice that is frowned upon.

Less than half an hour from downtown Toronto, you will find downtown Toronto - well, pieces of it anyway - in the Guild Sculpture Garden.

MEMBER FOCUS
Member Orientations
Member orientation sessions are a great way for new members to learn about all the benefits available to them through Tourism Toronto (and established members to refresh their understanding). Please note the following dates for upcoming member orientation sessions, and watch for notification with further details in your inbox.

Tuesday, September 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, November 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

New Industry Events Page on Website
As an additional benefit to members, Tourism Toronto is launching a new feature on our member web page: a list of upcoming industry events. If you have an industry event you would like to share with your fellow members, please send the information, including a website link if possible, to Denise Belgrove at dbelgrove@torcvb.com. The new feature will launch at the end of September. (Please note that public events and festivals will continue to be listed in the events calendar on our consumer website and can be sent to Michael Persaud at mpersaud@torcvb.com.)

Welcome Tourism Toronto's Newest Members
Attractions
Premier Fitness Mississauga
Art InSite Tours

Retail
The Store Mason's Chandlery
Twice is Nice
Crocs Boutique Toronto

Meeting Services
The Mint Agency
Vision Displays
Susan Murray International/Susan Murray Rentals

Restaurants & Nightlife
The London Tap House

Tourism Toronto: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
UPCOMING
EVENTS ACROSS
THE REGION
Sep 3-Nov 1
OVO - Cirque du Soleil
Grand Chapiteau, at the Port Lands (on Cherry Street)

Sep 10-19
Toronto International Film Festival
Various theatres

Sep 11-13
Tim Horton's Southside Shuffle
Port Credit

Sep 11-13
Fall National Bridal Show
International Centre

Sep 19-Nov 15
Candice Breitz
The Power Plant

Sep 24
Ornette Coleman
Massey Hall

Sep 24-Oct 4
Small World Music Festival
Various venues

Sep 26 & 27
Doors Open Vaughan
Various locations

Sep 26-Nov 3
Madama Butterfly
COC - Four Seasons Centre

Sep 27
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Nathan Phillips Square (start & finish)

Sept 27
The Word on the Street
Queen's Park

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

WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING
"The Toronto International Film Festival, always front-loaded, exploded over the weekend with movies day and night, all over town, every audience movie-savvy, every theater selling bran muffins right next to the popcorn, thousands of volunteers in the blue t-shirts, like a jolly welcoming committee. Never a frown, and believe me, we moviegoers test them plenty."

— From Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, September 2008
MEMBER
TOOLKIT
EVENT CALENDAR

UPDATE YOUR LISTING

TOURISM TORONTO 2008 ANNUAL REPORT
TORONTO
INSIDER
Did you know? That a moviegoer at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival felt faint while waiting in line and awoke on the sidewalk to find Matthew McConaughey had come to her rescue.
We want to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Email us at 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.