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GTHA News- 2016

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Anthony Pollard Inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame - Saturday, November 26, 2016
Anthony Pollard to be recognizing for outstanding contribution to the tourism industry at the Air Canada Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame Luncheon on Tuesday, November 29, as part of the Tourism Congress. Read more here.
 
Training from March 2016 - Monday, November 07, 2016
Ontario Adds 25,400 Jobs in October - Friday, November 04, 2016
Employment in Ontario increased by 25,400 in October -- including gains in construction and wholesale and retail trade.

Ontario's unemployment rate decreased to 6.4 per cent in October, and has been lower than the national average for 18 months in a row. Read more here.
 
Current Performance Indicators for August 2016 - Friday, October 28, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with August 2016 data, view it here.
 
Anthony Pollard Inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame - Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Anthony Pollard to be recognizing for outstanding contribution to the tourism industry at the Air Canada Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame Luncheon on Tuesday, November 29, as part of the Tourism Congress. Read more here.
 
Lonely Planet names Canada #1 - Tuesday, October 25, 2016
If you're looking for somewhere exciting to travel next year, look to Canada, Lonely Planet's number one destination for 2017. Each year, the leading travel media company ranks destinations based on the diversity and quality of travel experiences offered. Results are published in the annual Best in Travel series. The 2017 edition, featuring Canada, hits the shelves today. Read more here.
 
Ontario Passes Legislation to Reduce Electricity Costs for Families and Businesses - Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ontario passed legislation that will rebate the provincial portion of the HST from  electricity bills as of January 1, 2017.

The Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016 will reduce electricity costs by 8 per cent on the amount before tax, an average savings of about $130 annually.

Commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from up to 34 per cent lower electricity costs through the expansion of the Industrial Conservation Initiative. Read more here.

 
Toronto drafting Airbnb regulations as available units soar - Thursday, October 20, 2016
With concern mounting over an explosive increase in short-term rentals listed on websites such as Airbnb, the City of Toronto is set to start drafting proposed regulations that could keep the burgeoning “sharing economy” industry in check. Read more here.
 
2017 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts — Submit Your Nomination! - Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Nominations are open for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, a program that recognizes professional artists and arts organizations for their outstanding contributions over a significant period of time.

Please share this information with your members, stakeholders and the public and encourage them to celebrate the talent in your region. Attached you’ll find a toolkit you can use to spread the word. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #ONPremiersAwards.

Details and nomination forms are available on the Ontario Arts Council website. The nomination deadline is December 1, 2016.
 
Park Hyatt's bartender & 2012 Spirit Awards winner of Lifetime Achievement Award to retire! - Tuesday, October 18, 2016
After 57 years working the rooftop lounge at the corner of Bloor St. and Avenue Rd., 75-year-old Gomes is retiring. His last shift is Oct. 28. Read more here.
 
Toronto selected to host Canada's largest travel delegation from China - Thursday, October 13, 2016
Toronto has won its bid to host the largest travel delegation ever to come from China to Canada. The Chinese incentive travel group, NU Skin Greater China, will send 6,000 of its elite salespeople to Toronto in 2018, following a signing ceremony held this week in Shanghai between NU Skin officials, Tourism Toronto and the Ontario Minister of International Trade. This travel program is estimated to generate $8.3 million in visitor spending in Ontario. Read press release here.
 
Susie Grynol Assumes Role as President of the Hotel Association of Canada - Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is pleased to announce Susie Grynol as its new President.

Susie joins the HAC from the Retail Council of Canada, where she served as Vice-President, Federal Government Relations since 2013. As an accomplished, dynamic and fully bilingual executive Susie has over 10 years of experience managing political affairs and public relations and has a proven track record in overseeing complex industry issues and delivering successful outcomes. Read press release here.
 
Ontario Adds 16,200 Jobs in September - Friday, October 07, 2016
The September job growth brings the total increase in employment since the recessionary low in June 2009 to more than 600,000 jobs. The majority of net new jobs in Ontario are full time positions in the private sector and in industries that pay above average wages.

Ontario's unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent in September, and has been lower than the national average for 17 months in a row. Read more here.
 
Airbnb impact may be bigger than you think - Thursday, October 06, 2016
The real impact of Airbnb may be bigger than you think it is, according to Chris Gibbs of Ryerson University and Ken Lambert of HLT Advisory, reporting at the Western Canadian Lodging Conference, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Read more here.
 
Airbnb says it’s on board with proposed rules for short-term rentals - Thursday, October 06, 2016

Mayor Gregor Robertson and staff outlined a proposal last week that would restrict short-term rentals to homes that owners or renters live in most of the time and rent out only occasionally. Full-time listings in otherwise vacant homes, which have been blamed for taking long-term, stable rental housing off the market, would be prohibited. Read more here.

 
Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter Q1 2016 - Wednesday, October 05, 2016
The Q1 2016 edition of the Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter, ONtourism is now available here.

This quarterly publication reports the latest tourism statistics including; Border Crossings, Accommodation Statistics, Travel Price Index, Economic Indicators, Consumer Response Indicators and Special topic - Travel Balance.
 
Last Year's Ontario Deficit $3.5 Billion Lower Than Projected - Tuesday, October 04, 2016
Ontario's Annual Report and unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements for 2015-16 show Ontario's deficit is $3.5 billion lower than the $8.5 billion projected in the 2015 Budget, with the province's deficit for 2015-16 at $5 billion. This is $0.7 billion lower than the $5.7 billion in the 2016 Budget interim projection. Read more here.
 
Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage on October 1 - Thursday, September 29, 2016
As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 on October 1, 2016 - the third consecutive year it has increased. Read more here.
 
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators July 2016 - Thursday, September 29, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with July 2016 data.
 
Airbnb cutting into available rentals in city, study shows - Thursday, September 22, 2016
In a study published Thursday, CCPA says the home “sharing” platform is reducing Toronto’s already constrained supply of rental housing, endangering the licensed hotel business and jeopardizing the character of some of the city’s prized neighbourhoods.

Shared accommodation represents the minority of Airbnb rentals in Toronto, according to the CCPA study. There are almost twice as many listings for complete homes or condos as there are for rooms. Read more here.
 
Ontario Prepares to Celebrate 150th Anniversary - Monday, September 19, 2016
Ontario will mark next year's 150th anniversary of Confederation with Ontario150, a year-long celebration that will honour the past and help chart a course for the future.

Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement today in Ottawa alongside Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Ontario will support hundreds of community-based projects that will leave lasting social and cultural legacies across the province and contribute to economic growth. Read more here.
 
Toronto's Pearson International on pace to break passenger record - Thursday, September 15, 2016
A boom in summer travel is propelling Pearson International Airport in Toronto to record levels of passenger traffic, bolstering the airport’s goal of becoming one of the world’s elite international airports by 2020.

About 9.6 million people travelled through the airport between Canada Day and Labour Day, putting Pearson on pace to break its 2015 record of 41 million passengers annually. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority envisions Pearson reaching the status of “mega-hub” by the end of the decade – an airport that handles at least 50 million passengers a year, with 20 million of those travelling to or from international destinations. Read more here.
 
Joint Press Release between Canada and the People’s Republic of China - Wednesday, September 14, 2016
The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism will allow the Canadian tourism industry to build on its already strong relationship with China, and create new opportunities to grow one of our largest markets.

Seven additional visa application centres are also scheduled to open, which will help serve a growing number of Chinese tourists who would like to visit Canada. Read more here.
 
2,379,215 great pieces of news for our tourism industry - Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Numbers were up this summer! Check out June’s Monthly Tourism Snapshot for key statistics, including details on Destination Canada’s key markets and how we stacked up against our competitors.

Monthly Tourism Snapshots for previous months can be found on the GTHA's website under Industry Stats page.
 
WSIB Premium Rate Reduction of 13.2% Announced - Wednesday, September 14, 2016
September 14, 2016: Today, at the WSIB Annual General Meeting, WSIB announced that beginning in 2017 the average premium rate will decline by 5%; the first rate reduction in more than 15 years. The WSIB also announced that another 5-10% total reduction to the average premium rate may be considered between 2018-2019. This  will depend on the health of the economy and other financial results. For rate groups that impact GTHA members:

Rate Group 921: Hotels, Motels and Camping will see a premium rate reduction of 13.2%  from $3.10 in 2016 to $2.69 in 2017.

Rate Group 919: Restaurants and Catering  will see a premium rate reduction of 8.1%  from $1.72 in 2016 to $1.58 in 2017.

The GTHA has been involved in the WSIB file for a significant amount of time.  The GTHA President & CEO Terry Mundell is Chair of the General Business Advisory Committee of the WSIB that meet on a regular basis with WSIB Chair Elizabeth Witmer and President & CEO Thomas  Teahen to provide input on issues that benefit both injured workers and employers.

Read more about the announcement here.

 
Throne Speech Announces Electricity Cost Relief, New Child Care Spaces - Monday, September 12, 2016
As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, the Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would rebate an amount equal to the provincial portion of the HST on residential, farm and small business electricity bills as of January 1, 2017. Rural electricity ratepayers would receive additional relief and commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from lower electricity costs. Read more here.
 
Ontario Adds 10,500 Jobs in August - Friday, September 09, 2016
Employment in Ontario increased by 10,500 in August -- including gains in a number of sectors such as finance and construction.

Ontario's unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent in August, and has been lower than the national average for 16 months in a row. Read more here.
 
12 questions to help you prepare for this fall’s chemical handling blitz - Friday, September 09, 2016
From September 19 to October 31, Ministry of Labour inspectors will fan out across the province, visiting workplaces to check records, observe, and ask questions about their chemical handling practices.

WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo offers 12 sample questions that can help you assess the comprehensiveness of your chemical handling program. Ask yourself these questions with the spirit of the blitz in mind: "It's about prevention, not just compliance," says Bhunnoo.

Read more and see the 12 questions here.
 
Creating Awareness for the prevention of harrassment - Thursday, September 08, 2016
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) in cooperation with OTEC has announced an advanced training and awareness program to prevent sexual violence and harassment in the hospitality industry. This program will deliver expert knowledge through two online learning modules, five case studies on successful industry practices, one manager’s toolkit and an overall awareness building campaign. Read more here.
 
Celebrate Ontario 2017 Now Accepting Applications - Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Province Investing in Festivals and Events to Boost Tourism and Create Jobs
Ontario is encouraging festival and event organizers across the province to apply for Celebrate Ontario 2017 funding.

Celebrate Ontario is a grant program that makes it easier for festival and event organizers to offer new and improved experiences that attract more tourists and increase visitor spending. Last year, the program supported 200 festivals and events across the province, boosting local economies. Read more here.
 
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators June 2016 - Thursday, August 25, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with June 2016 data, view it here.
 
Monthly Tourism Snapshot Infographic – June 2016 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Over the first six months of 2016, the Canadian tourism industry has seen significant growth with over 7.9 million international visitors.

A preview of June’s Monthly Tourism Snapshot is available here.
 
Monthly Tourism Snapshot and Infographic – May 2016 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The complete May 2016 Tourism Snapshot and the supporting infographic is now available, click here.

This provides the tourism industry with information on key Destination Canada market visits to and from Canada, performance of competitors, and other tourism related statistics.

 
City of Toronto Revenue Tools: Hotel/ Lodging Tax - Friday, August 19, 2016
The City of Toronto is considering a variety of new revenue tools, among them a hotel/ lodging tax. As the City currently does not have the authority to implement a hotel/ lodging tax they are considering a request to the province to amend the City of Toronto Act (COTA) to provide them the taxation authority. The GTHA is opposed to any amendments to the City of Toronto Act and the Ontario Municipal Act that would provide the City of Toronto the power to implement a hotel/lodging tax. In addition, there are a variety of other proposed taxes which would impact the hotel community such as Beverage Alcohol Tax, Parking Tax.
 
A study has been prepared for the City of Toronto by KPMG evaluating the potential revenue tools, including the hotel/ lodging tax. The full study can be found here.
 
City Council has directed the City Manager to engage the public on the City's long-term financial direction with such engagement to include information, consultation and dialogue that includes adequate revenue generation from existing and new sources.
 
The GTHA will continue to represent its members on this issue.
 
Ontario Seeking Input to Protect Workers and Support Business - Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Please find below a press release on the current consultation process of the Changing Workplaces Review Special Advisors' Interim Report, available here.

Of specific interest is the Personal Emergency Leave section of the report, which has been extracted for you below the Government press release.  Please review the 4 options outlined in that section.

Input specifically related to the personal emergency leave must be received by no later than August 31, 2016. Details on how to submit feedback can be found here.
 
The deadline for submission of the balance of the report is October 14, 2016.

Please feel free to send any comments to the GTHA on either the personal emergency leave or any other sections of the report.
 
Rate Framework Modernization Update - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The WSIB has updated the Rate Framework Modernization website to provide a new message from the Chair and President & CEO on the progress of the initiative and next steps (available here), as well as a Consultation Update that describes the feedback received and related stakeholder engagement activities with stakeholders in 2016 (available here).  

In the Fall of 2016, the WSIB will be seeking approval of the Rate Framework from its Board of Directors. Following approval of the Rate Framework, the WSIB will begin to undertake education and outreach efforts towards a targeted implementation in January 2019, at the earliest.

 
Wine and Spirit Education Courses at Humber College - Monday, August 15, 2016

Humber College is currently offering Wine and Spirit education courses. For more information on the courses see here.

 
Talking Tourism (Tourism Statistics Program, Statistics Canada) - Monday, August 15, 2016
This newsletter has been developed by Statistics Canada’s Tourism Statistics Program to highlight travel and tourism data developments, share news of program enhancements in the works and stay connected with data users. Read more here.
 
Mississauga, London and Orillia to Host 2018 Ontario Games - Monday, August 15, 2016
Ontario has awarded provincial multi-sport games events to three cities in 2018 and is providing over $2 million to support these events.

Mississauga will host the Ontario 55+ Summer Games, London will host the Ontario Summer Games, and Orillia will host the Ontario Winter Games. Read more here.
 
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators May 2016 - Friday, August 12, 2016

The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with May 2016 data, click here.

 
Let the Games Begin! Mississauga Kicks off the 2016 Ontario Summer Games - Friday, August 12, 2016
Approximately 3,500 of Ontario's young athletes, ages 12 to 18, paraded into the Hershey Centre to cheers, applause and praise at tonight’s 2016 Ontario Summer Games (OSG) Opening Ceremonies in Mississauga. The event kicked off Ontario's largest amateur multi-sport event, featuring 34 sport competitions.  The Games run from August 11 to 14 at multiple venues across Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The direct economic impact is estimated to be approximately $4.5 million, with more than 6,000 hotel room night rentals anticipated. Read more here.
 
Green Key Program Enrollment Offer - Thursday, August 11, 2016
Reduce operational costs, increase efficiencies, expand staff and guest engagement and market your hotel as a sustainable property by becoming a member of Green Key Global. Join today and get $25 off your yearly membership. See more information here.
 
Ontario Releases 2016-17 First Quarter Finances - Friday, August 05, 2016
Today the Ontario government released the 2016-17 First Quarter Finances. The report confirms Ontario is on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18, which will also continue to lower the province's debt-to-GDP ratio. Read more here.
 
Tourism Snapshot Highlights – May 2016 - Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Statistics Canada's The Daily has released May 2016's 'Travel between Canada and Other Countries'. Read more here.
 
Monthly Tourism Snapshot - April 2016 - Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Destination Canada has just released the April 2016 Tourism Snapshot, see it here.
 
Quarterly National Tourism Indicators - Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Statistics Canada has released the 2016 National Tourism Indicators for the first quarter of 2016 (January – March) and DC has the highlights on bottom-line figures that measure the tourism industry's progress. Read more here.
 
Ontario Changes WHMIS Requirements - Tuesday, August 02, 2016

As of July 1, 2016, Ontario has amended its WHMIS requirements to adopt new global standards for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals and for providing information on labels and safety data sheets. Read more here.

 
Ontario Economy a Growth Leader in First Quarter of 2016 - Friday, July 22, 2016
Ontario's economy continues to post strong growth despite a challenging global landscape, according to the province's Economic Accounts for the first quarter of 2016. Read more here.
 
New Ministry of Labour Video: Tips and Other Gratuities - Tuesday, July 19, 2016
The Ministry of Labour’s (MOL’s) Employment Standards Program has launched a new educational video entitled Tips and Other Gratuities. The video is the latest in a series of new resources developed by MOL to help employees and employers understand the new rules around the handling of tips and other gratuities in the workplace. Click here for video.
 
City of Toronto Revenue Tools: Hotel/ Lodging Tax - Tuesday, July 19, 2016
The City of Toronto is considering a variety of new revenue tools, among them a hotel/ lodging tax. As the City currently does not have the authority to implement a hotel/ lodging tax they are considering a request to the province to amend the City of Toronto Act (COTA) to provide them the taxation authority. The GTHA is opposed to any amendments to the City of Toronto Act and the Ontario Municipal Act that would provide the City of Toronto the power to implement a hotel/lodging tax. In addition, there are a variety of other proposed taxes which would impact the hotel community such as Beverage Alcohol Tax, Parking Tax.
 
A study has been prepared for the City of Toronto by KPMG evaluating the potential revenue tools, including the hotel/ lodging tax. The full study can be found here.
 
City Council has directed the City Manager to engage the public on the City's long-term financial direction with such engagement to include information, consultation and dialogue that includes adequate revenue generation from existing and new sources.
 
The GTHA will continue to represent its members on this issue.
 
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators April 2016 - Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with April 2016 data, view it here.
 
Canada to lift visa requirements for Mexico - Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The Government of Canada has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen our relationship with one of our most important partners, Mexico. To this end, Prime Minister Trudeau today announced Canada’s intention to lift the visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada beginning December 1, 2016. Lifting the visa requirement will deepen ties between Canada and Mexico and will increase the flow of travellers, ideas, and businesses between both countries. Read more here.
 
The Ministry’s Ontario Tourism Outlook has been updated to 2019 - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This forecast includes annual visits, spending and growth rates broken out by:

  • Inbound/Outbound
  • Same day/Overnight
  • Origin of visitor

The webpage also includes Performance and other Key Indicators.

The Tourism Outlook is available here.

 
Changes to Ontario Cabinet - Monday, June 13, 2016
June 13- Premier Kathleen Wynne today announced changes to the portfolios of her Cabinet Ministers. Of note to the GTHA, we welcome our new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon from the riding of Burlington. The Honourable Eleanor McMahon’s bio can be found here.
 
We would like to thank Minister Michael Coteau, our former Minister of Tourism for his support of our industry as we wish him all the best in his new role as Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.

The GTHA is looking forward to working with Minister of Tourism and Culture, Eleanor McMahon. The full new Cabinet is posted here.
 
Ontario Adds 21,600 Jobs in May - Friday, June 10, 2016

Ontario's economy continues its strong performance, adding 21,600 jobs in May.

In May, Ontario experienced employment growth in a number of sectors with the largest gain being in construction with an increase of almost 25,000. Ontario's unemployment rate also dropped to 6.6 per cent, lower than the national average. Read more here.

 
Ministry of Labour | Tips and Other Gratuities - Friday, June 10, 2016
Starting June 10, 2016, it will be illegal for employers to keep a portion of employees’ tips and other gratuities, except as permitted by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). These rules affect employers and employees covered by the ESA in workplaces where tips and gratuities are received – such as at bars, restaurants, hair and nail salons, catering firms and taxis.

New on the Ministry of Labour website is a dedicated page on Tips and Other Gratuities featuring a new guideline and FAQ:

English: Ontario.ca/tipsandgratuities
French: Ontario.ca/pourboiresetgratifications

Additional information can be found on the GTHA Government Relations page here

 
Hotel Operators Are Upping Their Planet-Friendly Practices - Friday, June 10, 2016

When Justin Keating began running Hôtel du Vieux-Québec full-time in 2008, his vision was decidedly green. The owner and general manager set out to launch various eco-friendly initiatives at the historic Old Quebec City hotel, such as adding solar panels, creating a rooftop garden with organic vegetables and herbs, introducing water-saving devices in the bathrooms and changing the lighting to LED.

However, Keating isn’t content to rest on his green laurels, and is continuously looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. Today, he’s got a number of projects on the go, including adding a solar hot-water system for in-floor heating; doubling the windows to improve the envelope of the building; and building a four-season greenhouse on the roof. Read more here.

 
Boutique Hotels Gaining Popularity - Friday, June 10, 2016
What, exactly, is a ‘boutique hotel’? Most people conjure up a certain image in their heads when they hear the term and, undoubtedly, there are characteristics that are common to most boutique-style properties. However, the definition of ‘boutique’ has become increasingly broad. Read more here.
 
Changes to Accessible Customer Service Standard Take Effect July 1, 2016 - Thursday, June 09, 2016

What you need to know
There are changes to the accessible customer service standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation that will affect you and your members. Please share this information with your members. A toolkit is below to help you:

More information can be found under our Accessibility page here.

 
The Ministry’s Regional Tourism Profiles have been updated with 2013 data - Monday, June 06, 2016

Profiles are available for Ontario and its 13 Travel Regions.  Each profile includes:

  • Visitor Statistics
  • Visitor Spending Statistics
  • Hotel Statistics
  • Tourism Related Establishments

 The Regional Tourism Profiles are available here.

 
Room to grow - Thursday, June 02, 2016
Nestled on a rural patch of land just outside the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ont., is Canada’s 37th-busiest airport by passenger volume, a small operation that grew exponentially in the last decade and could grow dramatically in the next few. 

This is Region of Waterloo International Airport, a former general aviation facility with nearly 154,000 passengers last year and a potential partner in the drive to meet rising demand for air travel in Southern Ontario. Read more here.
 
Destination Canada releases 2015 Annual Report - Friday, May 27, 2016
Destination Canada’s 2015 Annual Report: Ambitious Together puts the spotlight on a banner year for the Canadian tourism industry with the rise in international arrivals to Canada almost doubling the world average. Proving the value of a collaborative approach to tourism marketing, Destination Canada and our partners experienced far greater recognition in our international markets than individual marketing organizations, transportation companies, hotels and attractions would have attracted independently. Read the 2015 Annual Report here.
 
Canadian hotel deals indicate another big year - Thursday, May 26, 2016
After a record year for Canadian transactions in the hotel industry in 2015, sources said they expect to see similar volume in 2016. Read more here.
 
Current Performance Indicators March 2016 - Wednesday, May 25, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with March 2016 data, view it here.
 
Ontario Invests $1.6 Million to Boost Tourism - Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Ontario is providing more than $1.6 million to 23 arts and culture organizations, helping them market and promote unique events and exhibits this spring and summer. Read more here.
 
Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter Q4 2015 now available - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Q4 2015 edition of the Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter, ONtourism is now available here.

 
Smart Serve Ontario Announces Scholarships At Hospitality/Tourism & Culinary Arts Colleges - Friday, May 13, 2016
Smart Serve Ontario has announced the establishment of a student scholarship at all colleges in Ontario that offer a diploma program in hospitality/tourism and/or the culinary arts. This announcement was made at the Heads of Hospitality and Tourism Ontario Educators’ Forum Welcome Gala Reception hosted at George Brown College. The student scholarship was established in celebration of Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Confederation. These scholarships will be offered in addition to the student scholarships Smart Serve Ontario already annually commits to at various educational institutions across Ontario. Read press release here.
 
February 2016 Tourism Snapshot - Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Please be advised that Destination Canada has just released the February 2016 Tourism Snapshot, view it here.
 
Condos being rented out as private hotels raising safety concerns - Thursday, May 05, 2016
The GTHA's President & CEO Terry Mundell spoke to media earlier this week about the on-going concerns of private hotel rooms across the GTA. See the CityNews media clip here. Additional coverage through Hotelier Magazine .

"“There’s no doubt the vast majority are in condominiums, there are a significant amount in the downtown core, some apartment complexes as well,” Terry Mundell, with the GTHA, explains. “Clearly these places should not be allowed to rent for transient accommodation, that’s stays less than 30 days, because that’s a hotel.”
 
Toronto to Host 2017 Invictus Games - Monday, May 02, 2016
Ontario is committing up to $10 million over two years in support of the Invictus Games, which will be held in Toronto from September 26­ to 30, 2017. Read more here.
 
Ontario Supporting 200 Festivals and Events - Friday, April 29, 2016
Ontario is investing $15.3 million to support 200 festivals and events across the province that will draw tourists, stimulate local economies and create jobs. Read more here.
 
Current Performance Indicators February 2016 - Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with February 2016 data, view it here

 
Maureen Adamson appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport - Friday, April 15, 2016
Effective April 11th, Maureen Adamson has been appointed Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Read more here.
 
Hotel Engineering Facility Managers Association of Toronto - Friday, April 08, 2016
Join HEAT for complimentary classroom training on swimming pools and spas; April 21st @ the Hilton Toronto. SPACES are limited. Contact markhardy@winmar.ca to register.  More details are available here.
 
Toronto Zoo 2016 Discount Program - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Toronto Zoo is an exciting destination for your Hotel guests to visit this year with white lion cubs, giant panda cubs and a polar bear cub on exhibit – oh my! The Zoo’s New Online Discount Program provides you, our valued Hotel partner, with access to discounted Toronto Zoo admission tickets for your guests! It also provides your Hotel with an efficient payment and ticket access process. Click here for more information on the program.

 
Current Performance Indicators January 2016 - Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with January 2016 data, view it here.
 
Province Increasing Minimum Wage on October 1 - Friday, March 18, 2016
Ontario will raise the general minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 on October 1, 2016 - keeping Ontario's wage the highest of any province in Canada. Read more here.
 
Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter Q3 2015 - Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The Q3 2015 edition of the Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter, ONtourism is available here.
 
Ontario Breaks Ground on First Eglinton Crosstown LRT Station - Friday, March 11, 2016
Construction has begun on Keelesdale Station, the first of 25 stations to be built for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT). The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is the largest public transit project currently under construction in Canada and represents the single biggest expansion of urban rapid transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in more than half a century. Read more here.
 
Six-month grace period on Electronic Travel Authorization welcomed - Friday, March 11, 2016

Some travellers and diplomats are breathing a sigh of relief after the Canadian government announced a six-month grace period on a new mandatory security screen.  As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Read more here.

 
Ontario Taking Further Steps to Protect People from Second-Hand Smoke and Vapour - Friday, March 11, 2016
Ontario is proposing to strengthen its smoking laws to better protect people from second-hand smoke, whether from a tobacco product or medical marijuana. The province is also proposing changes to regulate the use, sale, display and promotion of electronic cigarettes. Read more here.
 
Ontario Moving Forward On Highway 427 Expansion - Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ontario is making progress to expand Highway 427, which will create jobs and support economic growth and development.

The province has released a request for proposals to three shortlisted bidders to extend Highway 427 by 6.6 kilometres (km) from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive. The highway will also be widened for about 4 km south of Albion Road to Highway 7. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and the road will be open to traffic in 2020. Read more here.

 
UP Express Introduces Significant Savings for Travellers - Monday, February 29, 2016
UP Express is introducing new fares that will make travel to and from the airport, or even within the city, even better for travellers.

Starting Wednesday, March 9, 2016 the new one-way fare from downtown Toronto to Pearson Airport will be $9 with a Presto card- thats a $10 saving each way. Read more here.
 
Ontario's Investments Creating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow - Friday, February 26, 2016
Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the 2016 Ontario Budget: Jobs for Today and Tomorrow, which outlines the next phase of the government's plan to create jobs and economic growth. More than 600,000 jobs have been created since the recessionary low in June 2009. Ontario is projected to create more than 300,000 additional jobs by the end of 2019, which would bring total job creation to more than 900,000 net new jobs over a 10-year period. The Ministry of Finance is forecasting growth in Ontario real GDP of 2.5 per cent in 2015 and 2.2 per cent in 2016. Ontario's economic growth is now outpacing national growth, and is expected to continue being among the strongest in Canada over the next two years. Read more here.
 
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators for December 2015 - Tuesday, February 23, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with December 2015 data, view it here.
 
Ontario Partners With Airbnb on New Pilot Project - Friday, February 19, 2016
Ontario is recognizing the economic potential of the sharing economy by partnering with Airbnb to launch a new pilot project. The pilot project will raise awareness about homeowners' and consumers' rights and responsibilities when offering or booking online accommodations. Read more here.
 
Record Tourism Arrivals and Spending Bolster Toronto Regional Economy - Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Most international visitors ever, most hotel nights sold as Toronto’s global appeal expands

TORONTO (February 8, 2016) Tourism in Toronto increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2015 as the destination welcomed a record 14.03 million overnight visitors, Tourism Toronto announced today. A further 26 million people travelled to Toronto for day trips, totaling 40.4 million visitors for the year in Canada’s most-visited destination. Visitors to Toronto spent $7.2 billion during their trips, the highest amount of economic activity the sector has ever generated. Click here for press release.
 
Ontario Adds 19,800 Jobs in January - Friday, February 05, 2016
Ontario's economy continued its positive momentum with the second straight month of job creation, adding 19,800 jobs in January. This brings the total increase in employment since the recessionary low in June 2009 to 608,300. Read more here.
 
November 2015 Tourism Snapshot - Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Please be advised that Destination Canada has just released the November 2015 Tourism Snapshot, view it here.
 
Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence: HAC Conference 2016 - Friday, January 29, 2016
The Hotel Association of Canada's Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence Program was developed in 2004 with the purpose of recognizing those of its members (individuals, companies, properties) that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Canada's lodging industry. For more details, to register and for GTHA promo code, click here.
 
Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators for November 2015 - Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with November 2015 data, view it here.
 
Province Completes Design of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan - Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Ontario has announced new decisions on the proposed design of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) -- another step in delivering on its commitment to strengthen retirement income security for the two-thirds of Ontario workers without a secure workplace pension plan. Read more here.
 
6 Steps and 4 Suggestions to Prepare for January’s Machine Safety Blitz and Beyond - Monday, January 18, 2016
Prepare for a January 18 to February 26, 2016 inspection blitz on the safe operation of machinery. The blitz will focus on machines that are not guarded, blocked or locked out during maintenance, repair and other operations. “If it were my workplace,” says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero, “I’d immediately take steps to control high-risk hazards, and then plot an ongoing hazard control strategy.”

Machinery injuries have been a prevention priority since the dawn of the industrial age, but workers continue to sustain injuries with disturbing frequency. Read more here.
 
Brampton's Culture Days Celebrations rank 3rd in top 10 large Canadian cities - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
​Each year, the Culture Days national organization releases a ranking of the Top Ten Cities and Towns according to the number of Culture Days activities it hosts. In 2015, the City of Brampton placed third nationally in cities with a population of 500,000 and over. Read more here.
 
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation Appoints CEO - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The Initial Board of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation (ORPP AC) and the Government of Ontario are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Saäd Rafi as the first Chief Executive Officer of the ORPP AC.

Mr. Rafi was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of the TO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee, responsible for the delivery of one of the largest and most successful sporting events in Canadian history. Read more here. 
 
Province Seeking Public Input to Help Develop the 2016 Ontario Budget - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Ontario is seeking input from individuals, organizations, and businesses, across the province to help shape Ontario's upcoming budget. For more information, click here.
 
Ontario Introduces New Accessible Parking Permits - Monday, January 11, 2016
Ontario is introducing new accessible parking permits designed to increase security and prevent misuse.

Beginning this week, ServiceOntario will be issuing accessible parking permits with enhanced security features that make them easier to verify and more difficult to duplicate. These changes apply to new permits only.   Read more here.
 
Ontario Adds 34,900 Jobs in December - Friday, January 08, 2016
Ontario's economy continues to create jobs and grow, with 34,900 jobs added in December. This brings the total increase in employment since the recessionary low in June 2009 to 588,100. Read more here.
 
Toronto is #7 in the New York Times: 52 Places to Go in 2016 - Friday, January 08, 2016
Toronto is remaking itself as Canada’s premier city. Ranked number seven on the New York Times 52 Places to visit in 2016. Read more here.
 
HAC Announces Awards of Excellence Recipients - Thursday, January 07, 2016
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has announced the winners of its 2015 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence. See winners list here.
 
Connecting America: Co-op Marketing Program - Monday, January 04, 2016

Connecting America: Co-op Marketing Program
There are over 19 million Americans in 12 US cities with direct air access to Canada who are keen to visit us in the next 2 years.  With your help, our new Connecting America Co-op Marketing Program is going to turn these dreamers into actual visitors. 

Connecting America is Destination Canada’s new marketing initiative launching in the US in the spring of 2016. Together with businesses and destinations across the country, we’re ready to invite American travellers to Look Up and see Canada as their next destination. Read more here.