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May 14, 2008
Industry report charts course for advancing tourism in Toronto
The City of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee today supported the development of a new collaborative tourism destination management strategy that will capitalize on industry synergies and critical mass to enhance Toronto as Canada’s leading tourism destination.

“Through our work on the Agenda for Prosperity, Toronto’s new economic development strategy, we know that a strong tourism sector is needed to support Toronto’s overall success as a globally competitive city,” said Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “The Agenda for Prosperity calls for a greater degree of co-operation among industry, labour, educators and orders of government to enhance competitiveness and stimulate economic growth; this is supported by the recommendations of Toronto’s Premier-Ranked Tourist Destination Report.”

Toronto’s Premier-Ranked Tourist Destination Report is the result of extensive research and consultation among members of Toronto’s tourism industry with strong support from the City of Toronto. Funding support was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Canada through Employment Ontario programs.

“The Premier Ranked project outlines what great tourism assets we have,” said John Houghton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and a co-chair of the project’s industry steering committee. “We are planning from a position of strength and at the same time, bringing both governments and industry around one table to focus on a common vision of how to move forward. Next, we selectively improve the areas that will immediately add value to the visitor’s experience.”

The new destination management strategy will be as much about such “back office” needs, such as research and performance measurement, labour force trends and development, information sharing and training within the industry, as it will be about creating excitement among visitors to rediscover Toronto. While work has already begun on developing the implementation plan for the report’s more than 90 action opportunities, the project’s steering committee has made instilling a culture of hospitality excellence an immediate priority.

“We want every visitor to Toronto to feel welcome and cared for from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave - that’s what the 'We’ve Been Expecting You' program is all about. This is an initiative that all of us in the tourism industry can get behind right now. You’ll be hearing more very soon about this program that’s being developed by Tourism Toronto and the City of Toronto,” explained Terry Mundell, President of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and a member of the project’s industry steering committee.

Full implementation of Toronto’s new destination management strategy will address more than 90 recommendations including improved public realm and infrastructure; enhanced project experiences; and long-term industry sustainability.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Duncan Ross, Executive Director, Toronto Tourism, 416-397-5395,



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