Major tourism groups support Porter proposal

Industry leaders say plan will boost tourism in Toronto and Ontario

TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Tourism industry leaders support Porter's proposal to add service to more destinations from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, saying it will benefit the tourism and hospitality sector in Toronto and throughout Ontario.

The Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have made official submissions to Toronto City Council to express their support for Porter's plans to add jet service from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

"I have no doubt that if Porter receives the approval of city council to move forward with this initiative, the hospitality industry and the city will see direct benefits," said Tony Elenis, president and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association. "Porter's proposal will be an economic catalyst and I am confident that we will see more room customers and increase our ability to showcase Toronto as the first-class city it is."

A City of Toronto study confirmed that an increase in tourism will result in more spending, specifically in Toronto's accommodation, arts and entertainment, and sporting sectors, in the range of $134 million per year.

"Overnight stays from United States have increased for the third year in a row to 2.18 million, which is a positive sign for our industry as the United States economy shows signs of rebounding," said Terry Mundell, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. "High-value American visitors arriving in Toronto by air now make up 61 per cent of all U.S. visitors, up from 51 per cent five years ago. Porter has been instrumental in this growth to date and can become an even greater catalyst by adding more routes."

The city's Economic Impact Study estimated that approval of Porter's plan to add destinations such as Vancouver, Calgary, California and Florida will result in more than $250 million of incremental economic impact and 2,000 new jobs.

"I strongly support the economic spin-off that Porter's proposal will provide to the tourism and hospitality industry," said Barry Smith, president and CEO of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. "Porter's leading role in revitalizing the downtown airport has meant a great deal to convention centre business, and has made getting to this location much more convenient."

Porter proposes introducing jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Airport that meet strict existing noise limits. A runway extension of up to 200 metres into the water at each end will stay within the airport's existing marine boundaries and not affect traditional boat traffic. More information is available at www.porterplans.com.

"Porter has proven its ability to attract passengers to Toronto and throughout Ontario, which has been of great benefit for the tourism industry," said Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. "Porter's proposal is great for downtown, great for the city, great for the province and great for business."

About Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating® by Skytrax, and rated Best Small Airline in the world by Condé Nast Traveler's Readers Choice Awards. 

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston, Washington (Dulles) and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Burlington, Vt. Vacation packages are available from Porter Escapes at www.porterescapes.com.

Visit www.flyporter.com or call (888) 619-8622 for more information.

SOURCE Porter Airlines Inc.

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Media contact:

Brad Cicero
Porter Airlines
(416) 619-8593