It’s been a remarkable 2017 filled with new records, new spaces and even a giant rubber duck. Let’s celebrate everything our destination has accomplished this year. Tourism made a huge impact for our economy in 2017, and we have this remarkable community to thank for that success. To round out the year, here are 17 big wins that happened across the region in 2017.
A NEW VISITOR RECORD? IT SURE LOOKS THAT WAY
Toronto is on track for a new record in overnight visitors – 15.6 million – the first time overnight visitors passed the 15 million mark. All visitors to Toronto are projected to spend $8.8 billion, $700 million more than 2016. Stay tuned for the final numbers early next year.
A BIG NUMBER – 884
That’s the number of business events hosted in 2017 – a new record. To put this in perspective, that’s double the number of meetings we hosted a decade ago. From welcoming 8,000 financial service professionals for SIBOS to the 4,500 attendees from the tech world for OpenText, it was a banner year for business meetings in Toronto.
THE VIEWS IN TORONTO
We launched the Views are Different here campaign earlier this year. Since the launch, videos from this campaign have been watched 40 million times from beginning to end. That’s more than double the goal we set at the start of the year.
TORONTO SECURES AMWAY CHINA
Toronto won the bid to host the largest travel delegation to visit Canada from China. The city will welcome 10,000 top distributors from Amway China in 2020 bringing an estimated $80 million in spending.
WECHAT AND ALIPAY LAUNCH IN TORONTO
2017 brought WeChat Pay and Alipay to Toronto. More than 450 million active Alipay and 400 million WeChat Pay users can now use their apps to buy Canadian products and services in Toronto.
A BOOMING MEXICAN MARKET
Travellers from Mexico have increased more than 150 per cent over five years. Last December, Canada lifted the visa restrictions for Mexican visitors and Toronto opened its arms to welcome them.
A SUCCESSFUL ASAE CONFERENCE
ASAE 2017 was a tremendous success with attendees experiencing the best of Toronto during the four day “live audition”, creating destination advocates for the city. Attendees scored Toronto as one of the highest rated host cities since Toronto last hosted in 2009.
BOOMING BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Have you been to the Lobby Bar at Bisha? What about their restaurants Urawa or Kost? Or maybe the Rooftop at the Broadview Hotel is more your scene? In 2017, boutique hotels continued to create new experiences for Toronto visitors and locals, alike.
PERFECT PUBLIC SPACES
Toronto continues to embrace innovative community spaces. Berczy Park has become an Instagram hotspot, Trillium Park has re-imagined Ontario Place, and Guild Park is a sculptural sanctuary in Scarborough, to name just a few of the new spaces transforming the region in 2017.
WE’RE REALLY GOOD AT FOOTBALL (BOTH KINDS)
The Argos took home their 17th Grey Cup – the most out of all teams, and Toronto FC took home their first MLS Cup. It was a very big 2017 for football fans!
ACCOLADES FOR THE 6IX
What do People Magazine, Travel + Leisure and Lonely Planet have in common? They all named Toronto one of the best cities to visit. Toronto also landed in the top 5 as the World’s Safest Cities, Top Financial Centres and the Economist’s Most Livable Cities lists in 2017.
A WINNING YEAR
The Views campaign was named the Marketing Campaign of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and was given a Gold Award for Creative Story Telling by the Canadian Marketing Association. Not only that, Tourism Toronto was awarded the 2017 Ontario Tourism Marketing and Travel Media Award of Excellence for our partnership with Air Canada.
A NEW TOURISM PLAN FOR MISSISSAUGA
Mississauga adopted a new Tourism Master Plan highlighting the waterfront, downtown, festivals, sport events, diversity and global airport hub to seize its tourism opportunity.
BIG EVENTS IN 2017
2017 welcomed a slew of big festivals and events that amplified Toronto on the world stage, starting with the Canada 150 celebrations throughout the region. We watched veterans compete in the Invictus Games (along with a certain prince and his bride to be); TIFF, as always, delivered a remarkable slate of films; the region hosted 5,000 athletes for the North American Indigenous Games; and the EDIT festival this fall was the first of its kind anywhere in the world, to name just a few of the big events this year.
ONE VERY POPULAR DUCK
When a 62 foot rubber duck descended upon Toronto’s waterfront, people took notice – 750,000 of them, with an economic impact of $7.6 million – making a giant rubber duck a Toronto summer star.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Toronto and New York City signed a city-to-city partnership in 2017, boosting travel between our two destinations.
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
We’ve been working round the clock this year and it’s paying off. Next year, Toronto will welcome a record number of city-wide conferences – 24! And our team at Tourism Toronto booked 934 future meetings, conferences and events this year.
We hope you have had a brilliant 2017. Wishing each of you a happy holidays and an even better 2018.