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Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators January 2017

The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with January 2017 data, view it here.

The Third edition of the newsletter Talking Tourism is now available!
The Third edition of the newsletter Talking Tourism, developed by Statistics Canada's Tourism Statistics Program, is now available on our Tourism Stats page.
Airport Employment Zone Coalition endorses regional transit centre at Toronto Pearson
The Airport Employment Zone (AEZ) Coalition today welcomes findings from a study commissioned by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) that demonstrate how improved transit in the West Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), specifically the development of a regional transit centre at Toronto Pearson, could unlock significant benefits for residents, workers and businesses in the surrounding area and across the region. Read the full release here.
The New Where Toronto: Launching this May

The New Where Toronto is launching in May. Think of the new Where Toronto as Toronto Life for your hotel guests. Our experts will provide your guests with expertly curated lists of the absolute best of the city, in a format that’s bright, colourful and easy to read. See the front cover here

Your guests won't have to search for a good restaurant or wonder if an attraction is worth their money. Where Toronto takes the guesswork out of travel. It's like having your own concierge as a travel companion.

The next issue of Where Toronto features the the city's top restaurants, attractions and shopping, plus an in-depth look at some of Toronto's coolest neighbourhoods, and so much more. 

Bisha's 'Signature Collection' Suites Released on Upper Floors

As construction winds down on Lifetime Developments and INK Entertainment's Bisha Hotel and Residences in Toronto's Entertainment District, new details have been released on the upper level units of the 44-storey, Wallman Architects-designed condominium and hotel tower. Known as the Signature Collection, these luxury suites will occupy levels 38 through 42 of the building, and offer layouts ranging in size from 944 ft² up to 1,363 ft².  Read more here.

Public consultation dates for short-term rentals, March 28th & April 12th

Have your say on short-term rentals through an online survey and public meetings

The details of the two upcoming public meetings and the public survey can be found below or on the City of Toronto website.

Public Meeting #1
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
North Your Civic Centre, Council Chambers
5100 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5V7

Public Meeting #2
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
City Hall, Committee Room 2
100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Livestream available at Get Involved Toronto YouTube Channel

Can't attend the meetings? Participate online.

Online Survey
An online survey will be launched on March 28, 2017.

Livestream
The April 12 public meeting will be livestreamed

Send your comments

Send your comments or input directly to: amy.buitenhuis@toronto.ca

Stakeholder Meetings
Meetings are being held with key stakeholders during the week of April 3, 2017. If you would like more information about these meetings, contact Amy Buitenhuis at amy.buitenhuis@toronto.ca.

Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage to Support Workers and Families

Ontario is continuing to boost income for workers across the province by increasing the general minimum wage for the fourth consecutive year, which will bring the wage up to $11.60 this fall. Read more here.

Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators December 2016
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators have been updated with December 2016 data. View it here.
The Ontario Hostelry Institute Top 30 Under 30 Finalists
The Ontario Hostelry Institute is proud to announce the 2017 Top 30 Under 30 Finalists. A special congratulations to those within the hotel community on their achievement! See the full list here
  • Alexander Nacinovich, Sous-Chef, Shangri La Hotel
  • Noah Bedard, Charcutier + Bread Maker, The Drake Hotel - Commissary
  • Apolline Gaignard, Assistant Housekeeping Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  • Justin Newell, Chief Steward, Fairmont Royal York
  • Kristen Renaud, Assistant Director of Catering, Fairmont Royal York
    Kitu Sharma, Centralized Operations and Reservations Agent, Four Seasons Hotel
  • Kevin Sinclair, Executive Chef, Thompson Hotel Toronto
Hilton Named to 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® List
Hilton announced it has been named to the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, which recognizes companies that have exceptional workplace cultures. Ranking at No. 26 this year, Hilton increased its position by 30 places since 2016. Read more here.
Ontario Adds 4,600 Jobs in February
Employment in Ontario increased by 4,600 in February, the seventh straight month of job growth for the province.  

The employment increase was led by gains in full-time work and in the private sector. Ontario's unemployment rate was 6.2 per cent in February, and has been lower than the national average for 23 months in a row. Read more here.
Study: Airbnb Moving Away from Homesharing
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released a new report that examines the rise of commercial activity taking place on Airbnb. The study reveals that Airbnb’s business is moving even further away from true home sharing: 81 percent of the company's U.S. revenue comes from whole-unit rentals. The study, conducted by CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research and funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, echoes a growing body of research that shows Airbnb “hosts” renting out two or more entire home units are the fastest growing segment of Airbnb’s business in the U.S. Read more here.
Hotelier: Hani Roustom, The Hazelton Hotel
Hani Rouston has a natural affinity for the hotel business. The 43-year-old general manager of Toronto’s luxe Hazelton Hotel says hospitality has always been a way of life for him. “It’s something ingrained in our culture,” he says referring to his Lebanese roots.

Not surprisingly, success follows him. As a Hotel and Restaurant Management student in Cyprus, he won the Student of the Year award from the Cyprus Hotel Association, graduating with Honors Cum Laude. Later, in 1998, he graduated with a BA in Hospitality Management from Bournemouth University in the U. K., finishing first in his class. And, in 2006, the affable Roustom earned a Masters degree from the prestigious Hotel School at Cornell University, where he was awarded the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream. Read more here.
Hotels eye York Region with promise of slashed development charges
With York Region poised to slash its hotel development charges, it appears the industry is jumping in to build lodging here. Wyndham is planning the Aurora Microtel Inn and Suites, a four-storey hotel southeast of Leslie and Wellington streets.

Development charges are very significant factor for hotels looking to build, Terry Mundell, President of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, said. “It is one of the numbers that will turn a decision,” he said, adding the hotel industry is faced with a number of other high costs including land prices, property taxes, hydro and food costs compared to other North American jurisdictions. Read more here.

New York Fines Illegal Hotels
New York has issued 49 $1,000 notices during its first month combating illegal hotel listings. One owner received 44 of those notices. New York State ratified a law in October allowing fines for illegal hotel operations, but enforcement did not begin until Feb. 1. For more information, click here
Tourism Toronto NEW Campaign: The Views Are Different Here
TORONTO (March 6, 2017) A new marketing campaign launched today by Tourism Toronto shows how the views are different in Canada’s Downtown. “The Views Are Different Here” is a video-based campaign designed to show international travelers both the excitement and diversity that have made Toronto Canada’s largest city and most-visited destination. The campaign title speaks to both the iconic physical views and the open-minded views that define Toronto.

Made possible by funding from the Greater Toronto Hotel Association’s Destination Marketing Program, the new campaign capitalizes on Toronto’s tourism momentum. Toronto has seen record tourism numbers for the past several years, driven by steady growth from key markets including the U.S., China, U.K., Germany, Japan and Mexico”. Read Press Release here.


Tim Reardon New General Manager of the Sheraton Toronto Centre
We are pleased to announce Tim Reardon as the new General Manager at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel starting April 1st, 2017.

Tim will be moving from his current role as General Manager of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, a position he has held since 2014. Tim has held progressive senior leadership roles, including General Manager at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport and General Manager at the Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Read more here.
Marriott Turns to Starwood Vet to Run All Three of Its Loyalty Programs
Marriott International is promoting David Flueck, a 13-year Starwood Hotels veteran, to serve as the company’s new senior VP of Loyalty, overseeing all three of the company’s loyalty programs — Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Read more here.
Chelsea Hotel Receives the Hotel Association of Canada's Humanitarian Award
The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto has been awarded the ‘Humanitarian Award’ at the annual Hotel Association of Canada’s Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence event on February 16, 2017. This award 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 the past 15 years, Chelsea Hotel has raised money in support of their charitable partners - Special Olympics Canada, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, and the SickKids Foundation. Read more here.
Empowering Youth in Celebration of Ontario's 150th Anniversary
Ontario is supporting 87 community-based projects that will empower and engage the next generation of leaders, in celebration of the province's 150th anniversary. Read more here.
$10,000 fine for Toronto homeowner who used agencies like Airbnb to find tenants
A justice of the peace has imposed a $10,000 fine on the owner of a Willowdale home who violated city bylaws by accepting short-term renters, often using web sites such as Airbnb to find them.

Justice of the Peace Gerry Altobello rejected a submission from the city prosecutor that the fine be set at $1,000 because that was “not enough” to send a message of deterrence to others doing the same thing.

Altobello said the defendant was “thumbing his nose at the community and the city,” by continuing to rent the home at 5 Glenelia Ave., for periods of less than seven days after being told to stop. The maximum penalty for a conviction is $50,000. Read more here.

Konrad Gstrein Appointed General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Konrad Gstrein has been named General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. A true leader in the industry, this is his sixth appointment with the company.

Gstrein's illustrious career started with Four Seasons in 2001 as Assistant Guest Services Manager at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. His journey has been fast paced and nonstop with signature assignments in Sydney and New York, where he worked in several management positions. In 2008, Gstrein was promoted to Director of Rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. In 2010, Gstrein headed to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and then back to Maui in 2012 when he was promoted to Resort Manager. The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (a Four Seasons Hotel) was Gstrein's most recent assignment, where he was the Hotel Manager since 2014 before making his way to Toronto. Read more here.
Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter
The new Ontario Tourism Performance Newsletter, ONtourism,  has just been released. Read it here.
Ontario Adds 28,800 Jobs in January
Employment in Ontario increased by 28,800 in January -- bolstered by gains in manufacturing, finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and accommodation and food services sectors. Read more here.
Toronto's Pearson International Airport unveils design for new transit hub
The GTA could be getting a second Union Station, but this one would be at Pearson airport.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) released new images of the multi-modal transit centre it wants to build across from Pearson's two main terminals by 2027. Read more here.
Chelsea Hotel, Toronto Appoints Kate Sullivan as Director of Sales
Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, has announced the appointment of Kate Sullivan as Director of Sales to its executive management team. Kate brings over 25 years of sales and marketing experience to her new role. Read press release here.
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators November 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with November 2016 data, available here.
Sheraton Toronto Airport Unveils Major Renovation
The Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre has completed a multi-million-dollar renovation that has upgraded guestrooms, meeting spaces and the Club lounge, lobby and Olio Mediterranean Grille. Read more here.
979,446 international visitors explored Canada in November
International arrivals to Canada grew by double digits again, setting an all-time high for the month. For more statistics and an in-depth dive into the numbers check out the November Tourism Snapshot. Read more here.
Privacy Watchdog Investigating Complaints Around Sharing Economy
The federal privacy watchdog is looking into complaints against so-called “sharing economy” companies for the first time, the Star has learned.

In documents obtained under access to information law, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien’s office suggested sharing-economy companies such as Uber and Airbnb are creating a “growing risk” to Canadians’ private information. Read more here.
GTHA President & CEO speaks to illegal hotel rooms on The Agenda | TVO
January, 23 2017: GTHA President & CEO Terry Mundell participated in a discussion on The Agenda on TVO focusing on the challenges of the sharing economy and illegal hotels rooms. Watch the discussion here.

The GTHA continues to represent our members on this issue.
Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport: The Renovations Have Started!
Coming Soon.....
New Restaurant & Bar - Lot 41 Social Bar & Table, Renovated Guest Rooms + Suites

At the Delta Hotel by Marriott™, our goal is your streamlined travel. With free bottled water, ultra comfortable beds and free wifi, experience simple made perfect at this new Delta Hotel in 2017. Renovations are fully underway, feel free to contact us to book a tour!

Looking forward to welcoming you to the hotels new look and brand in 2017. Read more here.
IHG Opens First Dual-Branded Property in Canada
InterContinental Hotels Group has opened the 77-room Candlewood Suites and 137-room Holiday Inn Express property near the West Edmonton Mall, the company’s first dual-branded property in Canada. Read more here.
Allstream Centre Rebranding as Beanfield Centre
Toronto City Council has approved a multi-year sponsorship agreement between Exhibition Place and Beanfield Metroconnect for the title sponsorship of the conference venue, to be called Beanfield Centre (formerly Allstream Centre). Read more here.
Driving Success: Getting to Know the New Owner of the Four Seasons Toronto
Shahid Khan wasn’t looking to buy a hotel, let alone the Four Seasons Toronto — the vaunted flagship of the acclaimed global hotel chain. But when the sports and auto-parts magnate learned that Kingdom Holding Company was putting the 259-room property on the seller’s block, he immediately jumped at the opportunity. “I have a love for Toronto,” says the affable Pakistan-born owner of the Flex-N-Gate Group, a stable of auto-parts factories in North America, including 11 in Ontario, in addition to plants in Mexico, Argentina, China, Brazil and Spain. Khan also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars’ NFL football team and the England-based Fulham Football Club. Read more here.
Alberta Hotel Association argues for regulation of Airbnb and other vacation rentals
The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association, which represents approximately 800 hoteliers and campground operators, is asking the provincial government to develop a regulatory framework to govern home-sharing websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Flipkey. President and CEO Dave Kaiser said these sites, which enable property owners to offer their entire home or an individual room to short-term renters, are a growing worry for hotel operators who believe unregulated home-sharing has the potential to eat into their business.

“Our concern is the degree to which they’re operating like hotels, but not on the same level playing field,” Kaiser said. “We have licensing and insurance and health and safety regulations that right now don’t exist for those types of operations, and those are all extra costs that are on the backs of our industry.” Read more here.
Toronto ranked one of the greenest cities in the world
Toronto has been ranked one of the greenest cities in the world thanks to the leafy canopy of trees that covers our city.

In Treepedia, a new project out of MIT in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, researchers used Google Street View panoramas to calculate the Green View Index. It compares the percentage of "canopy cover" in cities around the world. Read more here.
New hotel developments worth checking out
Once Toronto's most glamorous venue, the Crystal Ballroom at The Omni King Edward hotel will reopen in early 2017 after a $6.5 million renovation, in time for its centennial. See omnihotels.com

The Delta Toronto has launched The Roof at SOCO. The 4th-floor terrace offers great food and panoramic views including the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Lake Ontario. See marriott.com/hotels/travel/yyzdl-delta-hotels-toronto.

Read more here.
Toronto Ranked 4th Most Reputable City in the World
City RepTrak 2016 rankings lists Toronto in the fourth spot of the world most reputable cities. Read more here.
Ontario Adds 9,100 Jobs in December

Employment in Ontario increased by 9,100 in December -- bolstered by gains in construction and professional, scientific and technical services. 

On an annual average basis, the total increase in Ontario's employment in 2016 was 76,400. The majority of these new jobs are full-time positions, in the private sector and in industries that pay above-average wages. Read more here.

Canada Ranked The #1 Destination To Visit In 2017 By The New York Times
The main reasons why it was chosen as the top destination included the fact that it was vast, beautiful and relatively affordable for travel (thanks to a weak dollar). Their description also mentioned the fact that the country is allowing for free admission to all of its National Parks this year in celebration of its sesquicentennial birthday. Read more here.
How to fix Toronto's short-term rental problems in 2017

From Rosedale "party houses" with bouncers at the door to drug-dealing "mobile units of criminal activity," Toronto Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam has heard countless complaints about Toronto's burgeoning short-term rental industry. Read more here.

Ontario court upholds condo rule banning short-term rentals

Condo owners who rented their suite for short-term stays violated the building’s rules, an Ontario court ruled earlier this month.

The Ottawa condo’s single-family restriction, covered in the board’s declaration, was breached when the unit was rented out through websites such as Airbnb, Expedia and hotels.com. Read more here.

Celebrate Ontario's 150th Anniversary in 2017

The kickoff to an exciting year has begun as Ontario celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation. 

The government is recognizing the historical significance of 2017 with Ontario150, a year-long commemoration that will honour Ontario's past, showcase the present and inspire future generations. Read more here.

Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators October
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with October 2016 data. Read more here.
Dolce Magazine highlights Dr. Steve Gupta, President & CEO, Easton’s Group of Hotels "changemaker"
We sat down with Dr. Steve Gupta for a quick cup of coffee in the lobby of one of his many hotels. A self-proclaimed entrepreneur with the businesses and buildings to back it up, we want to know how he took a truck stop on the corner of the 401 and turned it into a multidisciplinary real estate company, Easton’s Group of Hotels. Read more here.
Airbnb hits legal snag in Ontario following Ottawa condo court case
A local Ontario Superior Court judge found that Airbnb operators were essentially running a business out of their residential dwellings in contradiction of the framework of rules set up in most condominiums. The ruling may prevent condo owners in the province from listing their units on Airbnb or other short-term rental services. Read more here.
Ontario Adds 18,900 Jobs in November
Employment in Ontario increased by 18,900 in November -- including gains in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing and information, culture and recreation. Read more here.
The Second Edition of the Newsletter Talking Tourism is Now Available!
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. The November edition is now available in the GTHA's Tourism Stats page.
Turning the Corner: Annual Report Targets Sustained Tourism Growth in Canada

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and HLT Advisory (HLT) released the 2016 Annual Report on Canadian Tourism.

Focusing on the potential opportunity to target American travellers, this fifth annual collaboration reviews the parameters powering global industry growth in contrast to the perennial factors constraining Canadian performance. Read more here.


Marriott and Starwood Reveal the Future of Their Luxury Brands
Now that the merger has gone through, Tina Edmundson, Marriott’s global brand officer, gives Bloomberg a revealing first look at her vision. Read article here.
It's great news for Canadian tourism with double-digit growth in arrivals
Overnight arrivals to Canada expanded by 13% in September 2016 and by 11% over the first three quarters of 2016. For more statistics and details on Destination Canada’s key markets, check out the September Tourism Snapshot.
Chelsea Received the 2016 Accessible Tourism Award
The Chelsea Hotel, Toronto has been awarded the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario’s ‘Accessible Tourism Award’ at the annual Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at The Westin Ottawa. The Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence are presented to organizations, businesses and individuals that represent the quality of outstanding offerings that make Ontario a world-class destination. Read press release here.
Ontario Tourism Current Performance Indicators September 2016
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with September 2016 data, click here.
2014 Ontario Tourism Statistics now available
The Ministry’s website has been updated with 2014 tourism data:
 
Regional Tourism Profiles 2014 are available for Ontario and its’ 13 Travel Regions and each profile includes:
•    Visitor Statistics
•    Visitor Spending Statistics
•    Hotel Statistics
•    Tourism Related Establishments

The Regional Tourism Profiles are available here.
Green Key Global Fall Promotion
Offering an exclusive fall promotion for new program registrants!

Certification through Green Key Global's suite of programs will help you leverage your CSR activities to support your property's sustainable initiatives, improve your overall fiscal performance and community relations.  

Green Key Global is offering a discount for new Green Key members. See details here.
Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Unveils Redesigned Matisse Restaurant & Bar
The recently redesigned Matisse Restaurant & Bar has been unveiled at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, featuring globally inspired cuisine made with fresh local ingredients. Read more here.
Hilton Named One of the World’s 25 Best Places to Work
Hilton announced it has been named one of the World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in 2016, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work®. Hilton was selected based on Team Members’ assessments of the company’s jobs, opportunities for training, and support for work/life balance, among other factors. Read more here.
Ontario Adds 25,400 Jobs in October
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.
The Hazelton Hotel in Toronto makes list of top spas in Canada
These are the Most Luxe Spa Treatments in Canada

From skin-smoothing body wraps to customized facials, revel in this country’s finest spa treatments. Toronto's Hazelton Hotel makes the list, read here.
Current Performance Indicators for August 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
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
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.
The Greater Toronto Hotel Association/ Humber Hotel Management Leadership Program
The Greater Toronto Hotel Association in partnership with Humber College is pleased to announce the completion of the inaugural Greater Toronto Hotel Association/Humber Hotel Management Leadership Program.

The purpose of this program is to prepare exceptional middle management employees to become career-ready candidates for senior leadership positions in the hotel industry.   

Congratulations to the graduates of the 2016 program. For the press release and a list of the graduating class, please click here.