Tourism Toronto reports that the number of visitors to the city increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2015.
The city welcomed some 40.4 million visitors—14.03 million overnight visitors and 26 million day visitors—making it the country’s top destination. These tourists spend $7.2 billion during their trips, the highest amount of economic activity the sector has ever generated.
On the MC&IT side, Toronto hosted 725 meetings and events that brought 356,000 delegates to the region and generated spending in Toronto of 4417 million. At the same time, Tourism Toronto and its partners booked 751 new meetings and events for future years. These events are expected to bring 351,900 delegates and $376 million in direct spending to the region.
“Our destination has never looked better or been more attractive to foreign and domestic travelers,” said Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto.
“Every day there are 110,000 visitors in our destination—38,000 of them staying in a hotel. On average there are 6,800 American travelers and a further 4,800 visitors from other countries in Toronto every single day, and that speaks to the growing appeal of Toronto on a global scale,” said Bélanger. “It also speaks to the hard work our team and our partners do selling and marketing Toronto in key world markets and the results those efforts are producing.”
Tourism Toronto numbers
In 2015, Toronto surpassed four million international visitors for the first time as American and overseas travelers continued to visit in greater numbers. Overnight visitors from the United States increased for the fifth consecutive year to 2.48 million and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.32 billion.
While visits to Toronto by Americans have increased every year since 2010, the 10 per cent growth in 2015 is the strongest year-over-year improvement yet. Arrivals by air have driven the growth in U.S. travel to the city and now account for 65 per cent of all trips by Americans to Toronto.
Air and land crossings surged in 2015, resulting in a record number of American visits. Tourism Toronto has intensified marketing efforts in the U.S., including the new Toronto Stopover program for Americans flying overseas via Air Canada, and expanded marketing partnerships with national and provincial partners.
Apart from the U.S., China remained the top international market for tourism with 260,400 travelers visiting Toronto in 2015 (+13% over 2014). Other key source countries are:
♦ United Kingdom (237,800 visitors; +10% over 2014)
♦ India (106,700 visitors; +13%)
♦ Japan (89,740; +3%)
♦ Germany (83,900; -1%)
♦ Brazil (58,600; +24%)
♦ Mexico (37,750; +24%)
Hotels in the Toronto region sold a record 9,647,500 room nights in 2015, an increase of 2.6 per cent. Over the past three years, increased tourism to Toronto has added 676,000 annual hotel room nights.
There are more than 315,000 people employed in tourism and hospitality in the Toronto region, illustrating the significance of the sector to the broader economy and community.
“In addition to hotel stays, visitors spend money on meals, attractions, ticketed events like theatre, live music and sports, nightlife, taxis and shopping. Our meetings and events industry also generated widespread economic activity in businesses from convention centres and hotels to offsite venues, transportation companies, audio-visual and staging companies and many others who benefit every time Toronto hosts a meeting, conference or events,” said Bélanger.