Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown
Located in Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment district, the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown is only steps away from the Business, Financial and Shopping Districts and is surrounded by Toronto’s top venues, theatres, restaurants and attractions including the CN Tower, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Chinatown, Air Canada Centre, Direct Energy Centre and Rogers Centre, to name a few!
Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown
News > GTHA News: Archived > GTHA News- 2013
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WestJet’s bid to fly jets from Toronto island airport rekindles expansion debate - Friday, December 20, 2013
WestJet Airlines Inc. has reiterated its request that it be allowed to join Porter Airlines Inc. in flying jets into and out of Billy Bishop International Airport. Read article here.
Hilton Looks To Launch New Brand In 2014 - Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The report indicates that the new brand will be aimed at affluent, young travellers and will do so by emphasizing style and design in the new brand's hotels. Read article here.
City of Markham gets a luxury edge with Signature Condominium Collection - Monday, December 16, 2013
Downtown area takes on new vibrancy with condo-hotel project that will include Marriott Hotel incorporated into one of the two residential buildings. Read article here.
Automated Passport Control Kiosks at Toronto Pearson - Thursday, December 05, 2013
Today the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the launch of Automated Passport Control (APC)  at Toronto Pearson. Read press release here and watch video outlining the APC process.
Successful Inaugural Movember event at the Sheraton Parkway - Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The inaugural Movember event at the Sheraton Parkway took place November 30, 2013. Twenty-two people joined the Sheraton Parkway Mo-Tel team, who successfully raised a total of $5,670. Congratulations from the GTHA on such great achievement. Read press release here.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly wants vote on Porter airport plan - Monday, December 02, 2013
City staff is urging Toronto politicians to put off any decision on whether Porter Airlines should be allowed to fly jets from the island airport until 2015 because there are too many unknowns. Read article here.
NEW Mandatory Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training - Monday, December 02, 2013
Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office Communiqué to Stakeholders:
NEW Mandatory Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training

On November 15 the new Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O.Reg.297/13) was announced.  This regulation will come into force on July 1, 2014. For more information click here.
Join TO2015, the GTHA and Tourism Toronto at an Accommodations Town Hall: Tuesday,December 10, 2013 - Monday, December 02, 2013
Please join TO2015, the GTHA and Tourism Toronto at an Accommodations Town Hall : Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel

Registration 8:30 am
Meeting 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Presentation by Laura Croin, Director, Transportation Client Services and Accommodation, TO2015 and her Accommodations team that will provide an introduction on the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games as well as an update on the accommodation planning.

The Westin Harbour Castle Hotel
Frontenac Room
1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON
Markham mayor confident NHL-ready arena closer to reality - Monday, December 02, 2013
Markham is in the driver’s seat. The city has not one but two memorandums of understanding on the table.

Graeme Roustan, head of GTA Sports and Entertainment, presented Mayor Frank Scarpitti with a signed memorandum of understanding outlining his commitment to the proposed GTA centre, a 20,000-seat, NHL-ready arena, during a press conference at a Markham hotel. Read article here.
Gateway to Growth: Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study (Fall 2013) - Thursday, November 28, 2013
In recent years, the CTC commissioned The Conference Board of Canada to undertake a Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study. This year CTC and TIAC partnered on an updated version for 2013. The study compared the performance of 11 sectors and 48 industries, including the travel and tourism sector and tourism industries, to each other and to the overall economy. Read it here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators for September 2013 - Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with September 2013 data. Available here.
Strong business at upscale hotels sparks IPO talk for Four Seasons, Fairmont - Friday, November 22, 2013
The hotel business is booming, and one of the world’s richest investors is looking to cash in on his ownership of two landmark Canadian chains.

Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, who was in Toronto last week to meet with hotel executives, is pressing Four Seasons Hotels Inc. and the parent company of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. to look at options such as merging or going public. Read article here.
The Ministry’s Regional Tourism Profiles have been updated with 2011 data. - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
These profiles are conveniently organized in drop down boxes:
  • Visits: person visit characteristics by origin, length of stay and main purpose
  • Visitor Spending: spending characteristics by origin, length of stay and main purpose
  • Establishments: number of tourism related businesses by sector and number of employees
The Regional Tourism Profiles are available here.
Mandatory WSIB coverage in construction starting January 1, 2014 - Friday, November 15, 2013
If you are a construction contractor, or if you’re going to have construction work done on your business or rental property, you need to know that the law regarding coverage from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has changed. For more information click here.
Ontario to ban smoking on restaurant and bar patios - Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Ontario government plans to amend legislation to ban smoking on all restaurant and bar patios as well as at playgrounds and sports fields. Read article here.
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche announces its 2013 economic impact, event curators and applications for 2014 - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The City of Toronto today announced the economic impact of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013 that was held earlier this fall. In addition, the curators for next year's event were officially announced and organizers extended an invitation for Open Call Project submissions. See Press Release here.
Taking the Next Step in Ontario Place Revitalization - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ontario is another step closer to the revitalization of Ontario Place by selecting the design team that will transform approximately 7.5 acres of the east island into a vibrant urban park and waterfront trail. Read press release here.
Ontario Introduces New Plan to Spur Growth, Create Jobs and Strengthen Public Services - Thursday, November 07, 2013
Pledges New Investments to Support Ontario Families and Businesses
The Ontario government is introducing a new three-part plan to help create jobs and economic growth. In the face of an uncertain global economy, this new plan invests in people, builds modern infrastructure and supports a dynamic and innovative business climate. See press release and full speech here.
Tell the World Your Business is Best Bar None! - Monday, November 04, 2013
Calling all Licensees! Do you maintain the highest standards for your customers and staff, manage the sale and service of alcohol responsibly and do you have good relationships with the community and hospitality industry partners?  Applications for the 2013/14 BBN Accreditation are now being accepted – Apply here today! - Deadline is January 1, 2014.
Treetop Trekking Brampton - Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Treetop Trekking Brampton in Toronto is the newest member of the Treetop Trekking family! Located at Heart Lake Conservation Area, this park features 6 courses, 7 zip lines and over 65 aerial games! The highlight are twin 1000ft zip lines crossing right over Heart Lake! For more information visit http://treetoptrekking.com/en/brampton/

855-552-0090 or 905-965-6866
TIAC Releases Progress Report of Canada's Visitor Visa System - Thursday, October 24, 2013
In conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) released Gateway to Growth: Progress Report On Canadian Visitor Visa Process. This report tracks the government's response to the initial 2011 report by the National Round Table on Travel and Tourism (NRTT) an industry coalition of which TIAC is a member. Read press release and full report here.
Ministry's Current Performance Indicators for August 2013 - Thursday, October 24, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with August 2013 data. Available here.
World Class Soccer Returns to Rogers Centre - Thursday, October 24, 2013
Five-time World Cup champion Brazil is set to make its first Canadian appearance in nearly 20 years when it squares off against South American rival Chile at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on November 19 at 8pm. See full Press Release here.
Canada-Europe free trade agreement signed, details still under wraps - Friday, October 18, 2013
After four years of opaque negotiations, the lid remains sealed on major parts of Canada's contentious free-trade deal with Europe.

"This is a big deal, this is the biggest deal Canada has ever made. Indeed, it is a historical achievement," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, announcing the deal Friday with European Commission president Jose Manual Barroso in Brussels. Read article here.
Greater Toronto Airports Authority &Air Canada announce new Commercial Agreement to build global hub - Friday, October 18, 2013
Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Air Canada announce an enhanced commercial relationship to further develop Toronto Pearson as a global hub. In addition, the new commercial agreement is designed to deliver continued improvements to customer service, offering Canadians greater flight frequencies to existing markets and opening up access to more global destinations. Read press release here.
GoodLife Fitness Toronto Pearson Club Now Open - Thursday, October 17, 2013
GoodLife Fitness and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) have partnered to open the first-of-its-kind fitness club in Canada at Toronto Pearson. Located in Terminal 1, the custom-designed facility will provide passengers the opportunity to include a work out as part of their travel experience. The gym facility will also offer convenient access to 40,000 Toronto Pearson employees, supporting a healthy and active lifestyle. Read press release here.
Australians swoon for summer in Canada - Thursday, October 17, 2013
New CTC campaign aims to inspire Aussies to make Canada their dream destination for 2014
They’re coming to Canada from a land Down Under in increasing numbers. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s latest campaign in Australia looks to capitalize on this rapidly growing outbound tourism market by showcasing the spring and summer delights of our country. Read article here
Tourism Industry Encouraged by Throne Speech - Thursday, October 17, 2013
David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) responded to the government's intention to "promote Canada as a top destination for tourism," as stated in today's Speech from the Throne.
"Today reaffirms the government's commitment to growing Canada's travel economy. TIAC and our industry partners look forward to working with the government, through the Federal Tourism Strategy, to address the fixable public policy issues currently impeding growth," stated Goldstein. Read press release here.
Vaughan kills casino plan - Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Swing vote by Deputy Mayor Gino Rosati reverses May decision to pursue OLG offer of a casino complex, after a public outcry against it.

The move by Vaughan council, which will have to give final approval to killing the casino at the upcoming council meeting, means the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is without a willing partner in the GTA. Read article here.
Creating Opportunities for Ontario's Youth - Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Youth Jobs Strategy Offers Experience, Training and Support
The Ontario government's new Youth Jobs Strategy will help create 30,000 job opportunities for young people across the province. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the strategy during a visit to Conestoga College in Cambridge today. The strategy creates four new funds to help young people across the province find work, build job skills and start their own business. Read news release here.
Delta Hotels and Resorts unveils flagship hotel in Toronto's South Core Neighbourhood - Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Delta Hotels and Resorts unveiled its flagship hotel in Toronto's South Core neighbourhood during a topping off event, marking the completion of the hotel's 46th floor. Scheduled to open in late 2014, the Delta Toronto at Southcore Financial Centre will usher in the next generation of four-star full-service hotels for the Delta brand. Read article here.
GTA Centre Special Meeting on Arena October 15 - Thursday, October 03, 2013
The National Hockey League season kicked off this week.

But the real battle of the blades could come to a head October 15, when city councillors debate the future of the financial framework for the proposed GTA Centre.

The special council meeting was set to debate a motion calling for the city to rescind its approval of the proposed GTA Centre financial framework that would see a 20,000-seat, NHL-ready arena built in Downtown Markham. Read article here.
Michele McKenzie aims to leave CTC on a high note - Wednesday, October 02, 2013
President and CEO to step down on December 31 after 10-year term at the pinnacle of Canadian tourism. Read article here.
Hilton Garden Inn Partners with Keurig® to Bring Great Tasting Coffee & Convenience to Travellers - Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) is partnering with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and single serve beverages with its innovative Keurig® brewing technology, to upgrade its in-room coffee and beverage offering. Read press release here.
GTHA's Spirit Awards among 2013 Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence Finalists - Wednesday, September 25, 2013
On September 16th, 2013 the judging panel for the 2013 Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence convened with the task of choosing finalists and a winner for each award category. With so much creativity, innovation and results it was a difficult task to choose finalists and ultimately a winner. After much discussion, review and comparison, the hard choices were made and the winners determined. Among these finalists is the Greater Toronto Hotel Association's Spirit Awards under the Employee Attraction & Retention category. See all finalists here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators for July 2013 - Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with July 2013 data. Read it here.
TIAC to Participate in Federal Program to Develop Foreign Markets - Thursday, September 19, 2013
David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announced that TIAC has been approved for funding under the Government of Canada's Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in the emerging global markets. Read Press Release here.
Skyline Hotels & Resorts and GM of Four Seasons Hotel among this year's Pinnacle Award Winners - Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Kostuch Media Limited, publishers of industry magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, has announced the winners of this year’s prestigious Pinnacle Awards. On the hotel side, winners include Skyline Hotels & Resorts as Regional Company of the Year; Dimitrios Zarikos, regional vice-president of Four Seasons Hotels and GM of the Toronto property, wins Hotelier of the Year. Read article here.
Starwood Hotels Marks Element's International Debut With Element Vaughan Southwest Grand Opening - Thursday, September 12, 2013
In an event that culminated in a pedal-powered “spin” on traditional ribbon-cuttings, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) celebrated the grand opening yesterday of the Element Vaughan Southwest. The Toronto-area hotel represents the international debut of Element® Hotels, Starwood’s eco-wise brand, which has gained a growing and loyal following, and is redefining the extended-stay market. Read Press Release here.
City of Toronto's unemployment rate drops nearly 3% in one year - Thursday, September 12, 2013
At an event today, Mayor Rob Ford announced that the City of Toronto's unemployment rate has fallen considerably over the last year, reaching its lowest level in more than five years, according to data from Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey. Press Release available here.
Liquor sales licence applications to be posted online as of September 30th - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Effective September 30th, 2013, The AGCO will no longer require posting of newspaper ads to inform communities about a liquor application, as they will now be able to obtain this information from the AGCO’s website. Placarding in the storefront windows of establishments is unchanged. For more information click here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators - Monday, September 09, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with June 2013 data. Read it here.
Seychelles Boasts Most Expensive Hotel in the World - Friday, September 06, 2013
The world's most expensive luxury hotel has been identified and the distinction goes to the Seychelles' North Island Lodge. To stay at the North Island Lodge, which is located a 15-minute helicopter ride from the Seychelles' main Mahe Island, a couple will have to spend a jaw-dropping $5843 per night. See list of world's 10 most expensive hotels here.
Ontario Proud Partner of the Toronto International Film Festival - Thursday, September 05, 2013
Ontario is proud to play a leading role in supporting the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

TIFF has grown to become one of the top film festivals in the world, while at the same time Ontario has emerged as one of the largest film and television production centres in North America. Read Press Release here.
Canada leads by example at G-20 Summit - Thursday, September 05, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Canada’s commitment to achieve a federal debt-to-GDP target of 25 per cent by 2021. The announcement was made at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Read Press Release here.
TIFF 2013: Hotel prices soar to record heights - Thursday, September 05, 2013
It’s getting pricier to find a fluffy pillow to lay your head for the night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Average room rates at the top Toronto hotels for a standard room are up to $800 a night for the first weekend — a milestone unheard of just a few years ago. Read article here.

Latest Report on Travel and Tourism Market in Canada to 2017 - Wednesday, September 04, 2013
ResearchMoz.us include new market research report "Travel and Tourism Market in Canada to 2017: Industry Size, Shares, Trends, Growth, Analysis and Forecast" to its huge collection of research reports. Find press release and report here.

Public Consultation on use of Jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - Thursday, August 29, 2013
The City of Toronto is conducting a public consultation process on a request to permit jet airplanes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Further information can be found here.
Ontario to Stage a World-Class Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in 2015 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Province Launches Strategy to Create a Lasting Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Legacy
Ontario is launching its Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Promotion, Celebration and Legacy Strategy to increase the economic benefits and support them in becoming the People's Games. Read News Release here.
Australians Kept Their Wanderlust in 2012 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Fast-growing outbound travel market sent record numbers of visitors to Canada, says CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

While the economic storm raged around the world from 2008, Australia stayed relatively sheltered by high commodity prices and a steady hand at the financial tiller. The ensuing economic growth has been one of the motivators for Aussies to travel, says the new Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary report by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Click here for more key facts and figures or Read the Global Tourism Watch 2012 Australia summary report.

Mayor Rob Ford appoints Norm Kelly Toronto's Deputy Mayor - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford is pleased to announce the appointment of Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough Agincourt) as the new Deputy Mayor for Toronto. Press Release available here.

Biographical details about Norm Kelly are available here.
City of Toronto Announces Full Program for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The City of Toronto today released the entire artistic program for the eighth edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, which will take place Saturday, October 5 from 6:51 p.m. until sunrise. This year's lineup includes 112 art projects created by more than 500 local, national and international artists who will transform the streets of Toronto for a single night. News Release available here.
China Becomes World's Biggest Travel Spender According to Hotels.com Report - Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Chinese International Travel Monitor highlights shift toward independent travel
China has overtaken the U.S. and Germany as the world's biggest spenders on travel, with Chinese travelers spending $102 billion on international travel in 2012, an increase of over 40 percent from 2011. See full report here.

Toronto #1 Among Hotwire's top 10 Most Popular Labour Day Weekend Destinations - Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Hotwire Unveils 10 Most Popular Labour Day Weekend Destinations

Hotwire.com®, a leading discount travel site, today announced the top 10 most popular destinations for this coming Labour Day weekend. This year, folks are flocking to popular Canadian cities like Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver to enjoy exciting outdoor activities in addition to unique urban adventures.

This Labour Day weekend the top-booked destination of Toronto offers a perfect balance between summer heat and winter chill, offering visitors a cool, comfortable climate. Travelers can head to the CN Tower to take in the view of the city or head to the downtown area to watch the annual Labour Day parade. Read full article here.
Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine Names Best New Restaurant Nominees - Monday, August 12, 2013
Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine has launched a People’s Choice Award for its 2013 best new restaurants awards, and the nominees have been announced. A few restaurants in Toronto made the list. View article and full nominee list here.

Toronto to host FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada in 2014 - Tuesday, August 06, 2013
This past weekend Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) named the City of Toronto (along with Edmonton, Moncton and Montreal) as one of the host cities for the U-20 Women's World Cup to be held in Canada in 2014. Today, FIFA also announced the official match schedule, available at http://www.fifa.com/u20womensworldcup/index.html.
Read full news release here.
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with May 2013 data. Read it here.
Ministry Of Labour Health and Safety Awareness Product - Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Hotelier Magazine: the Top 50 Hotel Shining Stars - Tuesday, July 23, 2013
See who made the list in 2012, and in 2013 here.
The World's Best Spa is right here in Toronto! - Monday, July 22, 2013
July 21-2013, The Ritz spa, called Spa My Blend by Clarins, had been named the World's Best Hotel Spa by Travel + Leisure magazine. Read the full story here.
Omni Hotels and Resorts to take over Toronto's iconic King Edward Hotel - Thursday, July 18, 2013
Omni Hotels & Resorts has signed a deal to take over management and operation of Toronto's King Edward Hotel on Aug. 1 and acquire a stake in the landmark property. The 110-year-old property will be renamed the Omni King Edward Hotel. Read more here.

Ministry of Tourism and Culture April 2013 Performance Indicators - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with April 2013 data.
This user friendly, interactive tool is updated monthly with the latest tourism statistics including:
    - Border Crossings
    - Accommodation Statistics
    - Travel Price Index
    - Economic Indicators
    - Consumer Response Indicators
The Current Performance Tool is available here.
Ontario Accommodation Association Members Join ORHMA - Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Members of the Ontario Accommodation Association (OAA) unanimously voted at their recent Annual General Meeting to cease the operations of their 64-year-old non-profit organization.  The OAA has been servicing accommodation members since 1949 and has remained a leading resource for accommodation members across Ontario.  Effective August 1, 2013, OAA members will conduct their association activities through the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA). Click here for full press release.

Ontario Accommodation Association Members Join ORHMA - Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Members of the Ontario Accommodation Association (OAA) unanimously voted at their recent Annual General Meeting to cease the operations of their 64-year-old non-profit organization.  The OAA has been servicing accommodation members since 1949 and has remained a leading resource for accommodation members across Ontario.  Effective August 1, 2013, OAA members will conduct their association activities through the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA). Click here for full press release.

City Manager's report on new casino and convention development in Toronto - Monday, April 08, 2013

April 8: Toronto City Manager Joe Pennachetti will brief the media on his recently released report, New Casino and Convention Development in Toronto, available  here. The Executive Committee will consider the report at a special meeting commencing on Monday, April 15.

H7N9 Avian Flu in China - Friday, April 05, 2013

On March 31, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that three people in the People’s Republic of China were infected by a new type of avian influenza virus identified as A (H7N9). All cases developed severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties, resulting in the death of two of the three cases. To date, the total number of confirmed cases of human infection with this H7N9 virus in China is nine including three deaths. The H7N9 flu virus causing illness in people in China has not been identified in birds in Canada and there have been no reports of human illness in Canada associated with the H7N9 flu virus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has released a public health notice which can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2013/h7n9-0403-eng.php. They are continuing to monitor the situation and the GTHA will keep you abreast of any information we receive. For your information: Hotel Association of Canada’s Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan. This report was created to assist members in the preparation and response to a pandemic outbreak, should one arise, in an appropriate and timely manner.

2013 Federal Budget - Friday, March 22, 2013
March21, 2013- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the 2013 Federal Budget.Please see the Hotel Association of Canada's analysis of the budget here. A link to the full budget is available here.

GTHA: Sands stands by its quiet approach to Toronto casino bid - Wednesday, March 20, 2013
While other casino operators have gone for the hard sell– taking out advertisements, releasing drawings, lobbying feverishly – Las Vegas Sands Corp. has been relatively quiet when it comes to its plans for a Toronto casino. Read the entire article here.

GTHA hosts downtown meeting on a Toronto Casino. - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

David Whitaker, chief executive of Tourism Toronto, said the Convention Centre hosts about 175,000 delegates per year who together spend $300 million, but the city is falling behind because it does not have one massive contiguous meeting space.

“I’m not sure this city is going to have this kind of opportunity any time in the near future if it doesn’t grab this and let the competitive process move forward,” Whitaker said.

Terry Mundell, chief executive of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, said a casino would be the “financial enabler” triggering convention centre expansion, dramatically increasing hotel stays and boosting convention delegate spending upwards of $800 million per year. Read the entire article here.

Hotel room lock vulnerabilities - Thursday, February 14, 2013
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is reporting several guest room break-ins attributed to suspects using laptop computers and key cards. They are also reporting that a hacker has created a device to open Onity guestroom door locks. The device can be hidden in an Iphone case and a dry erase marking pen body and plugs into door locks. These show up on the lock readout as “portable programmer” but no serial number is noted. Onity has determined what door lock models are affected and is providing a fix to hotels for a fee. If you need information on your Onity lock please contact the company directly at 800-924-1442.

Tourism Policy Named One of the Top Ten Competitiveness Barriers Inhibiting the Canadian Economy - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
OTTAWA, February 12, 2013 - In highly-anticipated presentation before the Economic Club of Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty today named uncompetitive travel and tourism policies as one of Canada's top ten barriers to competitiveness for 2013. The announcement affirms that public policy challenges are not only inhibiting growth within the travel and tourism sector itself, but squandering one of the great Canadian economic opportunities, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). Read the full TIAC press release below and the Report itself here.

City of Toronto's We've Been Expecting You program wins EDCO award - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The City of Toronto's Welcome to Toronto...We've Been Expecting You (WBEY) hospitality excellence program won an Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO) award.  
WBEY was developed in 2011 by the City of Toronto with the support of Tourism Toronto and the Province of Ontario, to instil a culture of hospitality excellence throughout the city, and to help support and unify organizations and businesses by providing training and tools that connect and inspire visitors around the common message of 'Welcome to Toronto'. More than 1,000 participants representing 144 organizations have participated in the program to date.

TIAC Press Release: Tourism Policy in Top Ten Competitiveness Barriers Inhibiting Canadian Economy - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
OTTAWA, February 12, 2013 - In highly-anticipated presentation before the Economic Club of Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty today named uncompetitive travel and tourism policies as one of Canada's top ten barriers to competitiveness for 2013. The announcement affirms that public policy challenges are not only inhibiting growth within the travel and tourism sector itself, but squandering one of the great Canadian economic opportunities, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).

"There is an unparalleled opportunity to drive export activity and create jobs by increasing international travel to Canada, but this won't occur without public policy fixes," said David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. "Attracting lucrative international visitors requires competitive investment in international marketing and aviation policy freed from excessive taxes, fees and levies."

With unprecedented growth in international tourism demand, Canada's travel industry could make a more meaningful contribution to the Canadian economy if not for structural challenges particularly in the areas of tourism marketing and access to Canada. The Canadian Tourism Commission's budget is being cut by nearly 20% at a time when all of Canada's major competitors are bolstering their investments in tourism marketing.

Canada's economic growth is also being unnecessarily hindered by an inhibitive taxation structure. This "triple dip" includes more than $850M in aviation taxes, fees and levies, $90M in GST on those aviation taxes, and $460M in GST on foreign visitor spending. Canada is the only G8 country with a value-added tax that does not offer a whole or partial rebate for individual foreign visitors.

"Through a combination of high transportation costs and steadily reduced marketing efforts, Canada has slipped from seventh place among the world's tourism destinations to 18th place in just a decade," said Beatty. "A huge industry, critical in every region, is struggling with its competitiveness and needs public policies that are forward-looking and supportive." 

For more information, please contact: 

David Lauer
Director, Communications
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
(t) 613-238-9400

The report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is available here.

Premier Wynne's Liberal Cabinet - Monday, February 11, 2013
Monday, February 11th: Today, Kathleen Wynne was sworn into Cabinet as the first female Premier of Ontario. The premier has revealed the cabinet that will serve alongside her at Queen’s Park.  The new cabinet includes a number of ministers who have not held a portfolio before. There are 27 members in the cabinet, 10 of which are new members. A full list of Cabinet Ministers and their Bios is available here.

Your industry voice has impact! - Monday, February 04, 2013

Your industry associations lobby at all levels of government on issues that affect your business and profits. Your voice at the grassroots level is very important as your representatives are hearing YOU, their constituents that have the power to vote in the next election.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is seeking support to make the case for more CTC funding to market Canada as a tourism destination. As you may know, the Canadian Tourism Commission had its funding cut significantly in this year's federal budget. The proposed CTC budget for 2013/14 is $57.8 million - a decrease of 41.5% in just a decade. Competition in the world marketplace for tourists is fierce. The US has just launched their “Brand USA” marketing campaign aimed at visitors from international and Canadian markets. TIAC is hoping to generate significant on-line support for more CTC funding through an “e-post card” campaign. To support tis imitative through their simple on-line tool, follow the prompts here.

The Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) is also lobbying the CTC funding issue and additionally, Access to workers through the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program and an increase in the number of certificates provided to Provincial Nominee Programs. Find out more information from HAC on grassroots lobbying here.

Government endorses plan on Ontario Place - Monday, February 04, 2013
The government has endorsed the report prepared by the Advisory Panel on Ontario Place Revitalization led by John Tory. The recommendations will transform Ontario Place into a year-round, multi-use waterfront community and urban park. Site development will start over the coming months and will include discussions with partners and the private sector. The full report is available here.

What opportunities could a casino bring to the GTA? - Monday, February 04, 2013
The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Commission’s vision is a world-class entertainment and gaming complex that makes a host municipality more attractive commercially for local business by enhancing it as a destination for meetings and conferences, as well as attracting additional tourists to the area. To reach out to the community, the OLG has a website dedicated to providing businesses and the public with information about a new Gaming/Entertainment Centre in the GTA. Casino economic impact studies, video discussions and facts are highlighted on the new OLG website.

Toronto on 2013 Condé Nast Traveler list - Monday, February 04, 2013

The top places to visit this year have been released by CNT and Toronto has a coveted position in the top 5. According to Condé Nast, our city's key features include the "stunning" architecture, restaurants, hot new hotels and the arts and cultural scene. The picks were revealed on the Today Show by Condé Nast. See the Condé Nast Traveler here. See the Today Show video.

Toronto Tops Google Search - Monday, February 04, 2013

Toronto holds the ranking as top U.S. Google search for international travel destination. See it here at Google.

Premier-designate to be sworn-in February 11th - Thursday, January 31, 2013
Ontario's next Premier,  Kathleen Wynne, and her cabinet will be sworn-in on February 11th at Queen's Park. The first cabinet meeting will take place following the ceremony . Read the full story here.