It’s been far too long since our team has been able to share a room and a discussion with so many leaders from Toronto’s hospitality sector. So hosting the Business Outlook Forum on November 18 at the Hilton Toronto was especially gratifying. With a live audience in the room and many more participating virtually, the Forum was an opportunity to share key observations and analysis about the current business environment and also key strategies for the coming months.
Here are some key highlights and takeaways:
PART 1: SETTING THE CONTEXT
The analysis presented by Marcy Burchfield of the Toronto Region Board of Trade showed that employment, mobility and visitor spending have returned very unevenly to different areas within the Toronto region, with the Financial District downtown lagging well behind other zones in all categories. View the Toronto Region Board of Trade's new Recovery Tracker
Heather Neale, Destination Toronto’s Managing Director of Business Events Sales, reported that of the 46 citywide meetings (accounting for 186,000 attendees) that were scheduled for Toronto and 2021 and had to cancel, the sales team successfully rebooked over half the meetings and fully two-thirds of those delegates (124,000) for future years. Of the 26 rebooked meetings, 13 will be hosted in Toronto in 2022. View the Business Events Q3 Sales Production Report
Destination Toronto’s Market Readiness Index tracks key indicators and market signals to show the levels of readiness of different markets to return to active travel. Destination Toronto’s Business Intelligence Analysts, Nemanja Davidovic and Anna Yu dove into some of the key drivers of the Readiness Index, including a look at consumers’ evolving levels of comfort with key travel activities, finding that while a strong majority of Canadians are comfortable with indoor shopping and dining, other activities such as flying and attending live events still lag behind at comfort levels below 50%. View the latest Market Readiness Index
PART 2: LOOKING AHEAD
- Leaders from our Global Marketing team shared plans to continue to leverage the Never Have I Ever platform well into 2022. At the heart of this strategy is the opportunity for individual businesses to connect directly to the campaigns through social channels. Read more about how to activate your business in the strategy in the Never Have I Ever Campaign Holiday Joy List Playbook.
- In a candid discussion, Tara Gordon, Destination Toronto’s Vice President of Sales and Service, Laura Purdy, General Manager of Enercare Centre and Beanfield Centre at Exhibition Place and David Chisholm, Vice President of Sales at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre shared that key customer segments including Canadian corporate meetings are aggressively booking future meetings right now, while some segments like U.S.-based associations are still showing hesitancy as they grapple with their own revenue losses over the past two years.
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