View from the CN Tower 

Welcoming over 40 million visitors annually, Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada. This bold, dynamic city offers superb attractions, music and events backed by the best convention and sports facilities in Canada.

ExpandTourism Sector Information

Key Facts

  • Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada, in 2015, Toronto welcomed over 40 million visitors.
  • A record 14.03 million (of over 40 million visitors total) were overnight visitors (35% of total visitors) (Tourism Toronto, 2015).
  • 2.48 million overnight visitors came from the U.S and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.32 Billion.
  • 1.75 million overnight visitors came from overseas and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.49 Billion.
  • Overall visitor spending during their trips was $7.2 billion in industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment and retail.

Tourism Labour Force

Toronto CMA has over 19,000 tourism-related businesses employing more than 329,000 people. (Canadian Business Patterns Dec. 2013; Labour Force Survey 2013)

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2013

Business Establishments

  • There are over 50 large tourism and related services establishments (500+ employees) in the Toronto CMA. Thirty of these establishments are in the accommodation, foods, drink services and performing arts.
  • 70% of all tourism and related services establishments are classified as accommodation, foods, drink services and performing arts.

Assets

Toronto offers a wide variety of tourism options:

  • Music, film, sports, cultural, entertainment, performing arts, festival and events, international cuisine, parks and recreation, first-rate accommodations, and shopping, including 7 professional sports teams, 8,000 restaurants, more than 500 live music venues, more than 50 tour operators and over 100 attractions.
  • Large-scale special events can be found every weekend of the year with a number of signature events in the city including, Nuit BlancheLuminatoPrideToronto Caribbean CarnivalCanadian National Exhibition and the Toronto International Film Festival
  • 60+ multifunctional event venues, 35+meeting facilities and over 100 professional event and meeting planners in the city assist in making Toronto the choice for meetings and conventions
  • Major convention centres offer a large amount of choice to the meetings and conventions market including Metro Toronto Convention Centre along with the Toronto Congress Centre and the Enercare Centre, 2 of the largest largest in North America
  • Toronto is a City of Neighbourhoods, often represented by a vibrant Business Improvement Area.
  • Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cultural, culinary and entertainment communities, over 50% of the population is foreign born.
  • The city has the greatest selection of accommodation in Canada, including over 43,000 hotel rooms in the greater Toronto region - 40% are located in downtown Toronto. Downtown Toronto hotels consistently achieve occupancy rates of about 73% whereas the hotel occupancy rate in the GTA is about 67% (PKF Consulting Inc., 2012 Outlook Greater Toronto Hotel Association)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport is Canada's primary air hub. It provides about 400,000 flights and carries over 40 million passengers annually (GTAA)
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is right in the downtown welcoming more than 2.5 million passengers annually.

 

Tourist Investment

City of Toronto Premier-Ranked Tourist Destination Project (2007)

The Premier Ranked Tourist Destination framework was developed by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism to provide a means for tourism destinations to define their competitive position within the tourism marketplace. Premier-ranked is not a formal tourism designation but, rather an internal tourism goal to help destinations become “better than the rest” by improving their viability and competitiveness as a place people want to visit.

 

ExpandSubscribe to the 'We've Been Expecting You (WBEY)' eNewsletter

Receive monthly news customized for members of the hospitality, tourism and service sectors. Each newsletter will include details on the We've Been Expecting You initiative, an e-guide to events for quick reference and helpful information on what there is to see and do in Toronto.


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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (No. 2) and Bylaw 214-1998. The information is used to allow the City to send you an e-mail to confirm your wish to subscribe to a City of Toronto e-notice. Questions about this collection may be directed to the ListServ Administrator, Strategic Communications Division, City of Toronto, Toronto City Hall, 7th floor, West Tower, Toronto M5H 2N2. Telephone: 416-397-5318.


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ExpandParticipate in 'We've Been Expecting You (WBEY)' Training

'We've Been Expecting You (WBEY)' is a unique hospitality excellence program that helps:

  • Further instill a culture of hospitality excellence throughout the city so that visitors feel welcomed, informed and well-treated while in Toronto
  • Unify the service industry by enhancing visitor's experience of Toronto, motivating return trips and engaging with locals
  • Become prepared, proactive, proud and positive so that when employed together, they create memorable experiences for visitors

Free training is offered to members of the hospitality, tourism and service industries, or anyone who works with visitors to the City.

WBEY is a joint project presented by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and Tourism Toronto and is free to participants.

Training options

Various training options are available: 

  • Online Training at www.wbeytoronto.ca
  • On-site Training Sessions:  for groups of twenty or more people at your organization, email wbey@toronto.ca to discuss available dates and logistics
  • Public Classroom Sessions:  Sessions will be scheduled based on demand

Who can attend

  Training is offered for those who:

  • work directly with visitors to our city
  • work in a role where you might be asked about what there is to do and see in Toronto
  • would like to introduce customer service training to your organization

Program structure

Welcome to Toronto…We've Been Expecting You program is designed around four sets of behaviours and actions. When employed together, they create memorable experiences for visitors.

  • Prepared: Learn about Toronto, its neighbourhoods and all they have to offer.
  • Proactive: Look for opportunities to share your knowledge and experiences of Toronto and its neighbourhoods.
  • Proud: Talk about unique features of Toronto.
  • Positive: Project an optimistic attitude even when faced with a challenging situation.

ExpandSupport for Tourism Businesses

Promotion

Promote events, attractions or tourism businesses distributing information and brochures through:

  • INFOTOGO: Mobile Visitor Information centres (seasonal) are located in high-traffic areas around the city and attend key events throughout the summer months.
  • Toronto Tourist Information Centre (TTIC): located in Union Station (part of the Ontario Travel Information Centre) and open year round. Toronto specialists help visitors plan their time in the city.
  • City Hall Information rack: located in the Rotunda of City Hall, brochures and maps are available for the public.

 

Email infotogo@toronto.ca for details.

 

Maps

  • Visitor Maps: Free, printed maps highlighting key attractions and neighbourhoods are available to distribute your guests and customers.
  • Beer Map: Launching in 2017, a map to highlight Toronto's rich brewing culture.

 

Email visitorservices@toronto.ca for details.

 

Promotional opportunities are available on select Tourism Services programs and publications. Email visitorservices@toronto.ca for more information.

 

ExpandPromote Events, Exhibits and Festivals

Organizations and businesses can submit their event, exhibit and festival information to the Toronto Festival & Events Calendar for promotion to the public.

  • The most comprehensive list of things to do in Toronto.
  • The Festivals & Events Calendar was completely revamped in 2016.
  • The new format improves the ease of submitting festival, special event and exhibit information.
  • The Calendar provides a more user-friendly display for the public to view and filter event details – making it easier to find information on what's happening in the city.

 

Email spevcal@toronto.ca for more information.