|Tourism & Culture portfolio gets sports - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced that Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture, will assume responsibility for the portfolio of sport in the province. Aligning tourism, culture and sport brings together marquee and blockbuster events and athletes, coaches, officials and sports organizations. Ontario is preparing to host the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games with an expected 10,000 athletes, coaches and delegates from the Caribbean and Central, South and North America attending to compete in 48 sports. More information is available here.
|Canada – US border action plans released - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Two action plans: Beyond the Border initiative and Regulatory Cooperation Council have been released to improve security and the flow of goods and people across the Canada‐US border. The Beyond the Border action plan aims to enhance security and economic competitiveness, the Regulatory Cooperation Council will work to better align our countries’ regulatory approaches in the areas of health, safety, and the environment.More information on the Border Action Plan is available here.
|Momentum continues with new hotel openings - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The total number of rooms in Toronto has increased 3.1 per cent from last year, which is the third largest increase among major North American cities.
Increase in Room Supply from 2010 to 2011 (through July)
1. New York City: +7.2%
2. Nashville: +3.4%
3. Toronto: +3.1%
4. Houston: +2.6%
5. Denver: +2.0%
6. Seattle: +1.7%
7. Washington, DC: +1.6%
8. Miami: +1.3%
9. Ottawa: +1.2%
10. Dallas: +0.8%
Source: Smith Travel Research
|Consumer prices rise - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Consumer prices rose 2.2% in the 12 months to February, following the 2.3% increase posted in January as reported in the StatsCan consumer price index released today. Energy prices rose 10.6% during the 12 months to February, after posting a 9.0% increase the previous month. Gasoline prices continued to increase in February, rising 15.7%, after recording a 13.0% increase in the 12 months to January. Excluding gasoline, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.6% in the 12 months to February, compared with a 1.8% increase in January. More information is available here
|Domestic tourism spending down, international spending up in 2nd quarter - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Tourism spending in Canada edged down 0.1% in real terms in the second quarter, following seven consecutive quarterly gains averaging 0.9% according to the StatsCan report released today. Spending by international visitors in Canada was up 1.4%, as travel from both the United States and overseas markets increased in the second quarter, however, the higher non-resident tourism spending was offset by lower spending by Canadians at home. For detailed information look here.
|GTA tourism sets record year in 2011 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Ministry of Tourism Culture & Sport has reported that in 2011 more than 9 million hotel rooms were sold with over 10 million overnight visitors coming into the GTA. Increases in the number of overnight visitors from the United States and around the world drove numbers up while, by comparison, overseas arrivals in the rest of Canada declined in 2011. Other 2011 highlights include:
• Ontario enjoyed a 39.6 per cent market share of all overseas visitors to Canada.
• The biggest growth in overseas visitors to Toronto is from China (34.5 per cent increase), India (13.2 per cent), Italy (9.3 per cent) and Brazil (9.2 per cent).
• With 1,118 new hotel rooms, Toronto's 3.4 per cent growth in hotel room inventory followed only New York City (up 5.5 per cent) and Nashville (up 4.2 per cent) in North America.
• Travel & Leisure Magazine has listed Toronto as one of its Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012
|Ten-year multiple-entry visa makes travel easier to Canada - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is making it easier to visit Canada with a new ten-year multiple-entry visa. The changes to be implemented soon will mean a more efficient and flexible processing system for visa issuance. Currently, the maximum validity period of a multiple-entry visa is five years. More information is available here
|Tourism strengthened with Brazil - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Harper Government has announced the opening of 3 new visa application centres (VACs) in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to facilitate the visitor visa process and increase Canada's capacity to expedite the permits to meet the growing demand from the Brazilian market. The increased visa access comes together with a recent announcement to expand air access between Canada and Brazil through a new open-skies agreement. More information is available here
|October Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitz - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The MOL is conducting an inspection blitz on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to check that staff are using the proper protection to work safely and to ensure workplaces are complying with the requirements of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA). Without the proper protection, employees are vulnerable to risk of injuries which could translate into increased compensation and training costs to replace injured workers and reduced productivity. Industrial inspections will center on workplaces that include food & beverage operations. Although all types of PPE could be inspected, the main focus will be head, eye and foot protection. Inspectors will be checking to ensure the selection, use and care of PPE, as well as worker training are being met. For information on PPE and how your workplace can address the upcoming blitz please look here.
|Infrastructure plan outlines strategic plans for tourism - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli has released a $35 billion infrastructure plan entitled Building Together.
Of note for tourism, the Ministry is developing a 10-year investment plan to coordinate tourism-related infrastructure investments and align them with regional tourism priorities and strategies, invest in capital repair and rehabilitation at tourism and cultural agencies and attractions, ensure that government agencies and attractions focus on greater financial self-sustainability and identify opportunities to increase private sector and philanthropic contributions. Read the full report here
|Government Announces Federal Tourism Strategy - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Federal government has rolled out Canada's inaugural Federal Tourism Strategy. The four priorities detailed within the Strategy are; increasing awareness of Canada as a premier tourism destination through the Canadian Tourism Commission; facilitating ease of access for travel to Canada; encouraging product development and investment; and, fostering the supply of skills and labour through the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. The news release is available here.
A copy of the Tourism Strategy is available here.
|Government’s economic and fiscal projections updated - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty has released an update on Canada’s projections as a result of short-term uncertainty in the global economy and the impact of the sovereign debt and banking crisis in Europe. The Government will continue to implement the initiatives in the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan with some key announcements affecting Employment Insurance (EI) premium rates for 2012 which will be reduced from 10 cents to 5 cents and a temporary extension of the enhancement to the Work-Sharing Program. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is now expected to grow by 2.2 per cent in 2011 and 2.1 per cent in 2012. The full update is available here
|Nuit Blanche's impact at $37.4M - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The City of Toronto has announced that based on the results of an independent survey, the economic impact of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011 is calculated at $37.2 million, with an additional $4.5-million spillover impact for Ontario beyond Toronto. The October 1st event attracted an estimated one million people including more than 120,000 out-of-town visitors. Next year's event is scheduled for Saturday, September 29, 2012. More information is available here.
|Convention Development Fund Open to Ontario Cities for Applications - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
Ontario cities can now apply for support from the Convention Development Fund
to help attract increased convention business and visitor spending. This year, $2.75 million will be available through the Convention Development Fund. Applications are due by November 1, 2010. Read the full press release here.
|McGuinty Cabinet Shuffle - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the following changes to the portfolios of his Cabinet Ministers:
Jim Bradley will assume the Community Safety and Correctional Services portfolio while Rick Bartolucci becomes Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Sophia Aggelonitis will become Minister of Revenue and Minister Responsible for Seniors, and John Gerretsen will replace Ms. Aggelonitis at Consumer Services. John Wilkinson will take over the Environment portfolio. Bob Chiarelli joins Cabinet as Minister of Infrastructure, while Brad Duguid remains Minister of Energy.
Newcomer to Cabinet, Glen Murray will take over the Research and Innovation portfolio.
|Minister Chan releases information on the OTMPC Review - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
On October 13th, Minister Chan released a communication to the tourism industry partners on the review of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC). Read English and French versions. Visit the OTMPC Website at www.tourismpartners.com to read the entire review.
|STR Reports Canada Hotel Pipeline for March 2010 - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
This represents a 2.5-percent decrease in the number of rooms in the pipeline compared to February 2010 and a 16.5-percent decrease in the number of rooms in the pipeline compared to March 2009. Among the provinces, Ontario reported the most rooms in the total active pipeline, ending the month with 10,105 rooms, followed by Alberta (4,179 rooms) and British Columbia (2,933 rooms).
|Ontario Celebrates 2011 Tourism Week! - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
Tourism Week is being held June 6-12, 2011. To celebrate, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation is holding a series of events across the province to generate consumer interest in travelling in Ontario this summer. For details, visit here.
|Tax Payments to Ministry of Revenue During Postal Disruption - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
To make tax payments during the postal disruption, the Ministry of Revenue is offering the following options:
• submit electronically for most Ontario taxes using the ministry's ONT-TAXS online service, by Internet Banking Services (IBS) or tax banking at your local financial institution;
• hand-deliver (by cheque) to select ServiceOntario locations or any Ministry of Revenue Tax Office; or
• courier to the Ministry of Revenue, 33 King Street West, PO Box 620, Oshawa ON L1H 8E9.
For more information on how the postal service disruption impacts your tax responsibilities, please call the Ministry of Revenue at 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297) or visit the website at:
|Air Canada adjusts growth plans - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
Air Canada is adjusting its previously announced growth plans for 2011 due to sustained high fuel costs. Earlier in 2011 the airline had said system wide capacity growth would be in the 5.5% to 6.5% range versus 2010. Air Canada now expects 2011 system wide capacity growth of 4.5% to 5.5% versus 2010. During the first quarter of 2011, Air Canada's expectations for its system wide capacity growth are revised to 7.5% to 8.0% versus 2010, a slight decrease from the 7.5% to 8.5% range projected in its February 10, 2011 news release. Air Canada continues to expect to increase its full year 2011 domestic capacity by up to 1.5% from the full year 2010 levels. The full story is available here
|Award winning Relax Recharge Renew program in full-swing for 2011 - Wednesday, August 15, 2012|
Tourism Toronto’s Relax, Recharge, Renew ("RRR") program won this year’s prestigious globally-recognized IMEX "Commitment to the Community". The GTHA fully supports this worthwhile initiative that provides a weekend getaway to local families of children with special needs while the child is cared for at a qualified respite centre. Thanks to the tremendous support of the tourism industry and our GTHA members, last year’s program was a huge success. We are inviting our members to participate by donating two certificates for a two-night stay for two for 2011. To find out more about the program, please visit the Tourism Toronto website here
or contact Cathy Riches at (416) 987-9077 or by email