Business Outlook Forum
On Tuesday, November 7th, Destination Toronto hosted the annual Business Outlook Forum, featuring the latest data, trends and insights shaping the future of the visitor economy. Attendees heard an overview of Destination Toronto's strategic priorities for 2024 and a panel discussion with guest speakers on the topic of "Local Sourcing, Local Stories".
Edge event: Marketing in the Age of AI
Attendees joined Destination Toronto on Monday, September 18 on a journey to better understand the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). As we navigate marketing in a time of incredible transformation, this webinar looked at how to leverage some of these tools in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Meryam Al-waadh, Senior Analytical Lead at Google, guided viewers through the basics of AI, examples of its practical uses, and advice for employing it ethically.
Edge event: How Esports is Changing the Game
Esports is booming. Born out of live-streamed video gaming, this sector has soared in popularity, now drawing millions of passionate fans and players to in-person tournaments worldwide. Toronto is growing as a host city for major esports events, with several new gaming venues in development. In July, Toronto hosted the EsportsTravel Summit, which was the largest ever gathering of esports tournament and video game event organizers, pointing to the opportunity ahead in this fast-moving space.
Destination Toronto was joined by a panel of experts for a lively discussion on how esports creates opportunities for businesses in Toronto's visitor economy, insights on the esports audience, and tips to engage them.
Members Summer Networking Event
Members came together for the official return of membership in-person networking events to reconnect with friendly faces, meet new people, and engage with industry professionals. This was a complimentary members-only event.
Members like you are an integral part of the Toronto community; thank you for being part of our membership program and helping rebuild our visitor economy.
Edge Event: Data Literacy for Tourism
In today’s data-driven world, it is crucial for tourism professionals to understand the basics of reading and analyzing tourism data. From visitor trends to marketing metrics, there are many insights available to help businesses create smarter strategies. Destination Toronto’s EDGE webinar on Data Literacy is tailored to a 101 level. This session will help you make sense of the vast array of data available and apply it to your operations.
Anirudh Bizlawan and Anna Yu from Destination Toronto’s Business Intelligence team gave an overview of the charts and data sets most commonly referenced by our industry, with tips on how to access and use these tools.
Annual General Meeting
On June 8, the Destination Toronto Annual General Meeting took place at the beautiful Koerner Hall.
We have committed to producing all of our meetings in a hybrid format, ensuring the broadest access to our events and the content we share. For our in-person attendees, the event included networking opportunities and highlighted Toronto's unique food scene.
EDGE Event: Telling Your Sustainability Story
On May 24, 2023 Destination Toronto hosted the first hybrid EDGE Event, that took place online and in-person at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Attendees learned how to include sustainability in their storytelling in a genuine and impactful way, that is authentic for their business. Experts shared their own insights and learnings on the opportunities and pitfalls of communicating sustainability practices.
The tourism industry, which was severely impacted by the pandemic is still facing significant labour shortages. And with more competition from other industries, today’s labour market is increasingly difficult to navigate. Hear a series of practical solutions for employers and hiring managers to help with seasonal staffing as we approach peak travel season.
With insights from speakers representing a variety of businesses and organizations, explore practical advice from the front lines on recruitment and retention strategies. Learn about different pathways to access new pools of candidates for seasonal work, from hiring hospitality students to internationally trained workers and learn how some of Toronto’s best employers from across various business models attract and retain employees.
Moderator: Sarah Jarvis, Director Community Engagement, Destination Toronto
- Jiaxuan (Jasmine) Qi Senior Manager, Program Development and Innovation, Tourism HR CANADA
- Shawna Findlay-Thompson, Human Resources Manager, Toronto Zoo
- Sarah Tabassum, People and Culture Manager, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
- Tony Garcia, Director, Academic Operations, George Brown School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts
- Sarabeth Holden, Co-founder and Co-owner, Red Tape Brewery
On April 6, 2023 Destination Toronto hosted the annual Spring Briefing event in Toronto's new, state-of-the-art live music and events venue, TD Music Hall. Hear Destination Toronto’s plans and initiatives for the coming months, and to learn about opportunities for you to promote and grow your business.
Learn how to leverage:
- Business Intelligence reports to inform your planning
- Marketing activities to promote your business
- Business development strategies to grow your business
- Membership and partnership opportunities
On March 28, 2023, Destination Toronto and Maayan Ziv, Founder & CEO of AccessNow, led a session and panel discussion on how barrier-free environments and human-centred design are integral to serving this market. Watch the video to learn why investing in inclusion drives innovation and how authentically serving this large and dynamic group with untapped buying power makes good business sense. Maayan, an internationally renowned speaker and disability advocate, leads a comprehensive presentation, followed by a panel discussion on disability inclusion for businesses. Areas covered include:
- An introduction of terminology, frameworks, and unconscious biases in the sector
- Models of disability and how to be an ally for the disability community
- Uncovering the barriers in the built-environment that people with disabilities encounter when travelling
- Discussion with industry partners who have demonstrated best practices and authentically served the community
No matter where you are in your accessibility planning, you will have something to gain from this webinar.
Join Destination Toronto in conversation with Angela Vogel, Principal Client Partner from Tripadvisor, for the inside scoop on travel recommendation sites.
We start with Tripadvisor's latest search insights for Toronto, including what different segments of travellers are looking for. Next, Angela will provide tips to optimize your Tripadvisor profile, based on success stories from a cross-section of tourism businesses. With real-world examples, travel trends, and tactical advice related to our urban destination, you will be better positioned to make your business stand out!
DESTINATION TORONTO'S BUSINESS OUTLOOK FORUM
On Wednesday, November 9, industry members gathered to hear the latest data, trends, and insights shaping the future of the visitor economy and an overview of Destination Toronto’s 2023 business plans.
If you were unable to attend the 2022 Business Outlook Forum, you can catch key moments from the presentation or watch the full recording in the Terminal.
EDGE Event Series
The Benefits of Building a Sustainability Action Plan for Your Tourism Business
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Where: Zoom (There is no fee to attend this event)
Prioritizing sustainability is not only the right thing to do, it’s a smart business decision! With a well-planned sustainability strategy, tourism businesses can better position themselves to tap into the growing economy of eco-conscious consumers who prioritize sustainability when making travel decisions.
Join Destination Toronto and Jill Doucette, founder of Synergy Enterprises, for a deep dive into the actions you can take to help you to improve your sustainability performance. Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, learn how to create and implement a sustainability plan for your organization, set meaningful targets, and create customized, actionable solutions and storytelling that align with your business goals and initiatives.
Speaker: Jill Doucette, Founder and CEO, Synergy Enterprises Moderator: Sarah Jarvis, Director Community Engagement, Destination Toronto
EDGE Event Series
The Evolving Needs of Travel Trade Business Channels
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Time: 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Where: Zoom (There is no fee to attend this event)
As leisure travel continues its rebound, travel trade channels are playing an evolving role in how consumers and groups plan and book travel. For the next event in the EDGE Series, join experts from Canadian Affair (U.K.-based tour operator specializing in travel to Canada), Jonview Canada (Toronto-based inbound operator) and the Ontario Motor Coach Association to explore how the complexities of COVID have impacted consumer bookings through travel trade channels.
Then hear from Destination Toronto's Roseanne Longo and Destination Ontario's Sonya Stevenson as they discuss how destinations and operators can seize the new opportunities through travel trade.
- Chris Hedley, Managing Director, Canadian Affair
- Vince Accardi, President, Ontario Motor Coach Association
- Representatives from Jonview Canada
- Roseanne Longo, Vice President, International Travel Trade, Destination Toronto
- Sonya Stevenson, Marketing and Trade Consultant, Destination Ontario
- Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Toronto
EDGE Event Series
Digital Readiness: How to use video to build your brand and engage audiences.
Date: Thursday, September 8
Time: 9 am - 10 am
With platforms expanding their short-form offerings, video marketing is more important than ever. Join Destination Toronto, Wavemaker, and Google for a presentation on how you can join in on the video action to help grow your business. Discover the emerging trends and best practices with video production and distribution, and explore key strategies to ensure social media marketers are maximizing their ROI.
Jeremy Maunder, Director, Global Marketing, Destination Toronto
Susan Charles, Brand Strategy Lead, Google
Kristine Sherliker. Group Account Director, Wavemaker
Edge Event Series
A land acknowledgement is an act of reconciliation that involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do. They are intended to start conversations on how non-Indigenous people can recognize, collaborate with and support Indigenous communities. As they become more commonplace, land acknowledgements sometimes serve as little more than feel-good public gestures, and are statements focused exclusively on the past, ignoring present or future commitments.
Join Destination Toronto and special guests for a discussion on why and how to develop a meaningful land acknowledgement and ways to work in solidarity with Indigenous nations. With guidance on personalizing actions with sincere commitments, developing relationships with community members, and taking on the responsibility to go beyond the land acknowledgement.
Date: Tuesday, June 28
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Where: This event is a virtual webinar
Kevin Eshkawkogan, Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Tourism Ontario
Billy Alexander, Director Programs, Culinary Tourism Alliance
Sarah Jarvis, Director, Community Engagement, Destination Toronto
On June 9, Destination Toronto hosted its 97th Annual General Meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, Board Director Chair Andy Loges, and Scott Beck, President & CEO all spoke of the resilience of the tourism industry and indicators that the industry is on the path to recovery.
Scott Beck also hosted a panel discussion on the 2021 Annual Report and the strategies that were utilized to stimulate near-term recovery and long-term growth with leadership panelists Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Development, Tara Gordon, Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Services, Rocco Fazzolari, Vice President, Finance & Administration, and Paula Port, Acting Vice President, Global Marketing.
Destination Toronto Spring Briefing
Destination Toronto hosted a webinar on April 11, 2022 to share the latest Market Readiness analysis and key upcoming opportunities for Toronto businesses to engage with the return of the visitor economy and leverage Destination Toronto’s in-market channels.
Edge Event Series
Destination Toronto and Expedia Group hosted the final virtual EDGE event of 2021 looking at early indicators and booking trends for the year ahead. The event featured a presentation by Vas Kolovos, Market Manager from Expedia on how consumers are searching, booking and purchasing travel, and how how consumers feel about traveling in 2022.
Expedia has made booking trends available including insights into who the new traveller is, what travellers value most and market demand and outlook for Toronto.
Business Outlook Forum
On November 18, Destination Toronto hosted the Business Outlook Forum featuring the latest data and insights shaping recovery, key destination strategies and resources to help plan for the year ahead. The Forum brought together more than 300 attendees both virtually and in-person to support industry leaders in aligning their strategies and making informed, strategic business decisions. The Forum featured a broad array of Destination Toronto and industry thought leaders at the hybrid event - the first in-person organization-wide event hosted by Destination Toronto since the start of the pandemic and the re-opening of the city’s meeting spaces. Thank you to all of those that were able to attend both virtually and in person. Thanks also goes out to Hilton Toronto for hosting us downtown!
Read key insights and takeaways, and access a recording of the Business Outlook Forum below.
EDGE Event Series
On November 8th, Destination Toronto and MMGY Next Factor, an industry-leading consulting firm specializing in travel and tourism, took part in this virtual EDGE Event to examine the latest results in the Global Futures Study published for Destinations International. Participants discovered the emerging trends shaping the future of travel, and explore key strategies that businesses and destinations can apply to remain relevant and to thrive.
Moderated by Andrew Weir, EVP, Destination Development, Destination Toronto; with Greg Oates, SVP Innovation; and Shirin Jafari, MTA, Destination Development Manager, MMGY NextFactor
RAP Digital Certificate: Destination Digital: Tools to Transform your Tourism Business
On Wednesday September 8, Destination Toronto partnered with the World Trade Centre Toronto for a facilitated workshop on digital transformation geared specifically for tourism businesses. Watch the video below and be sure to take the free Digital Needs Assessment today to assess your digital needs in this new era.
Readiness & Recovery Series: Cross-sector Perspectives on Reopening
Held on: Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Toronto’s tourism and hospitality community took part in a roundtable discussion featuring insights and perspectives from sector leaders about their experiences with reopening, expanding capacity and adapting operations as recovery continues.
Annual General Meeting 2021
Joined virtually by colleagues across Toronto’s tourism and hospitality community, Destination Toronto hosted its 2021 AGM live from Studio Ex at Exhibition Place – reflecting on a challenging 2020 for the industry and taking a look ahead at the road to re-opening and recovery.
Readiness & Recovery Series: Expanding Your Digital Reach
Held on: Wednesday May 26, 2021
Learn about the ongoing shifts and trends across digital and content marketing followed by an overview of Destination Toronto’s new content hub - designed to better engage visitors and locals, alike. Also learn how your business can take advantage of specific marketing opportunities on the content hub to drive your business success.
Readiness & Recovery Series: Assessing Market Readiness
Held on Monday, April 19, 2021
A look at the current state of Toronto’s key markets, and signals that will determine the return to travel.