TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - 2011 was another record year for tourism
in Toronto as the number of hotel room nights sold surpassed 9 million
for the first time ever, Tourism Toronto announced today. Additionally,
for the first time since 2006, Toronto has seen an increase in
overnight visitors from the U.S., while emerging overseas markets
continued to show growth.
"The momentum of the past several years and repositioning of our product
has propelled Toronto into another strong year," said David Whitaker,
President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "Although not without some
challenges, in 2011 we continued to focus on high-value visitors from
the U.S. and looked to key overseas markets such as China, India,
Brazil and Western Europe for growth."
In 2011, Toronto welcomed 10 million overnight visitors. Visitor
spending, including same day trips, totalled $4.6 billion in the
Toronto region across a range of businesses and activities, employing
242,000 people in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
Overseas market: China and India lead growth
The fastest growing markets are from overseas travellers which rose by
6.2 per cent and now account for 14 per cent of all visitors to
The biggest growth is coming from China (34.5 per cent increase), India
(13.2 per cent), Italy (9.3 per cent) and Brazil (9.2 per cent).
The top international visitor arrival markets for Toronto in 2011 were:
"Visitors from overseas tend to stay longer and do more while they're
here," said David Whitaker. "They also often visit other parts of
Ontario and Canada on the same trip."
"The McGuinty Government is proud to partner with Tourism Toronto,
actively engaging new and emerging markets to enhance Ontario's tourism
industry," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
"Our decisive steps have firmly placed Ontario on the map as a premier
global travel destination by offering one-of-a-kind festivals, cultural
attractions, conventions and world-class sporting events that generate
jobs and growth in Toronto and across the province."
U.S. market: on the rebound
Tourism Toronto estimates show that in 2011, Toronto saw a 2.7 per cent
increase in overnight visitors from the U.S. In addition, the U.S.
traveller profile continued to shift toward high-value urban dwellers
who are likely to fly to Toronto, stay longer and spend more. Air
arrivals to Toronto from the U.S. grew by 6.7 per cent over 2010, and
19 of the previous 20 months showed increases in U.S. air arrivals.
"Toronto has a new lustre among sophisticated U.S. travellers,
illustrated by its inclusion as one of Travel + Leisure magazine's
'Hottest Destinations in 2012,'" said David Whitaker. "Getting that
kind of recommendation is a real coup and we should all be proud that
the efforts so many have put into building this city over the past
decade are being recognized."
Canadian market: largest source of visitors
Toronto continues to benefit from Canadians' propensity to visit Toronto
as 6.4 million came in 2011 (a slight increase of 0.6 per cent over
2010) and spent $2.56 billion in the region. The overwhelming majority
are from Ontario (79.2 per cent), as Toronto continues to be a major
attraction with more than 5 million overnight visits from within
Ontario in 2011. Among the Canadian provinces, Quebec and Alberta
accounted for the second- and third-most visitors to Toronto at 10.2
and 3.3 per cent, respectively.
Hotel performance and growth
Toronto sold a record 9,181,769 hotel room-nights in 2011 up from
8,928,958 in 2010, an increase of 2.8 per cent.
Due in part to continued increased demand, hotel room supply has
increased significantly with 1,118 new rooms coming on-line in 2011,
placing Toronto third in growth in North American cities at 3.4 per
cent, behind only New York City and Nashville. Even with the increase
in room supply, Toronto was again among the top 10 in occupancy
rankings of major North American cities (those with more than 20,000
hotel rooms--Toronto now has over 37,000 rooms).
The majority of the new hotel room inventory is in the luxury category
with the recent openings of the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Thompson Toronto
and Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. With the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Shangri-La Hotel Toronto and new
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto all set to open in 2012, the availability of
luxury hotel options is increasing and will continue to attract
Major wins in 2011
Business travel and in particular, convention and meetings bookings
continue to provide solid, long-term business for the region. In July
2011, Toronto won one of the most prestigious and sought-after meetings
in the world as Microsoft chose the city for its 2012 Worldwide Partner
Conference. More than 15,000 people are expected to attend,
representing technology companies in 130 countries. Over 500 events
take place during the conference and at least 30 hotels across the
Toronto region will host delegates.
"Winning a prestigious meeting for such a widely admired company is not
only a boost to the local economy but a testament to Toronto's ability
to host major events," said David Whitaker. "There's a new buzz about
Toronto that is translating into a growing awareness and interest in
this community as a visitor and meetings destination that can deliver
on our guests' expectations."
In 2011, Toronto hosted several significant events such as SWIFT-Sibos
(one of the largest international banking conferences in the world),
Greenbuild International Conference (for the first time outside of the
U.S.) the American Bar Association, the JUNO Awards and the
International Indian Film Academy Awards.
In 2011, in addition to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference,
Tourism Toronto and partners also won significant future meetings
including Rotary International (20,000 attendees in 2018), the American
Academy of Neurology (10,000 in 2020) and the International
Confederation of Midwives (4,000 in 2017) and booked a total of 526,554
future hotel room-nights.
About Tourism Toronto
Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an
industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and
market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for
tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the
globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport as Regional Tourism Organization
5. For more information please visit www.seetorontonow.com.
SOURCE Tourism Toronto
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