Destination Toronto's recent EDGE event on Data Literacy for Tourism provided a baseline session on the core data points and metrics most commonly used to measure the performance of the visitor economy. 

The recording can be found above and covers visitor economy metrics including visitor arrivals and spending by market, economic impact, accommodations, aviation, major events and the key marketing metrics many organizations use.

Here are 10 key takeaways from the session to enhance your understanding of industry reports and the visitor economy:

  1. An overnight visit is defined as a non-routine trip taken outside a 60km radius of visitors' residence that results in at least a one-night stay in Toronto.

  2. Overnight visitor arrival data for Toronto’s high-value source markets (US, Canada, International) is modelled by using Statcan Ontario border crossing statistics and domestic travel indicators published by the Canadian Travel Research Institute.

  3. Destination Toronto’s market performance dashboard provides monthly and yearly data on overnight visitor arrivals and total visitor spending from key source markets.

  4. There are multiple ways of defining Toronto geographically. For the purposes of statistical measurement, the definition of Toronto most commonly used in the visitor economy context is the Toronto Census Division comprising 2.8M residents as of the 2021 census.

  5. The total economic impact of the visitor economy includes direct spending by visitors, indirect spending by businesses to service the needs of visitors, as well as the ripple effect, induced spending, in the economy through tourism-generated employment, salaries and taxation.

  6. Room demand, occupancy rate, average daily rate, and total revenue are key performance indicators in the accommodations industry that signal tourism demand in the city. The seasonality in Toronto’s tourism industry is well reflected in the accommodation industry data.

  7. Total accommodation industry performance primarily includes the hotel industry, complemented by the short-term rental industry which comprises less than a fifth of the total accommodation room demand in Toronto. Destination Toronto’s Accommodations Dashboard provides monthly and yearly data on hotels, short-term rentals and total accommodations.

  8. Aviation industry data helps to measure Toronto’s monthly/quarterly/annual capacity to host visitors from key source markets, as well as its relative competitiveness as a global destination.

  9. Business events and meetings are a major driver of visitor spending and  economic growth in urban destinations like Toronto. Major events like citywide meetings comprise a smaller number of all business events in the city but generate over 75% of the net economic impact from the sector.

  10. Marketing data is collected across a variety of platforms (websites, social media, email, etc.). Each business is unique in its goals and strategies, which makes it critical to understand marketing metrics across platforms in the context of your customer’s journey to set KPIs that align with marketing and organizational goals.

If you didn’t have a chance to make the event live, the recording above provides a deeper dive into how you can better understand the visitor economy and leverage your marketing data to drive relevant results.


Market Performance Dashboard

Business Events Sales Production and Marketing Insights Reports (Quarterly)