TORONTO — Toronto had a record-breaking year in tourism in 2017, with 43.7 million visitors welcomed to the region.
According to figures released by Tourism Toronto, Toronto’s more than 43 million visitors, spent $8.8 billion in the city — representing the most economic activity ever generated by the region’s tourism industry and a $700 million increase over 2016.
Overnight visits in Toronto hit 15.5 million, joined by 28.2 million same-day travellers. Hotels in the Toronto region sold 10,113,281 room nights last year and hotel occupancy rates in 2017 were 76.1 per cent.
Other figures released shows that international visits in 2017 surpassed five million for the first time. Visits from the U.S. grew for a seventh consecutive year, with nearly three-million American overnight visitors, spending $1.8 billion. An additional 2.1 million overnight visitors arrived from overseas markets, led by China (319,000 visitors) and the U.K. (263,000 visitors). Overseas spending accounted for more than $2 billion for the first time, surpassing the 2016 spend by $231 million.
Visits from Mexico also saw a year-over-year increase due to changes in visa requirements, resulting in a 72-per-cent increase in just one year.
“More and more, world travellers are seeing Toronto as an exciting urban destination and we’re seeing that with both a record number of visitors and visitor spending,” says Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “The campaign we launched last year is tapping into that sense of excitement and confidence. Videos from that campaign — ‘The Views are Different Here’ — have now been seen nearly 43-million times.”
Last year, the region also hosted 951 meetings and events that brought 400,000 delegates to the city and generated spending of $634 million.
“Now that 2018 is here, we can look forward to the 24 city-wide conferences and events taking place throughout the Toronto region — the most Toronto has hosted in a single year,” adds Bélanger. “Future growth indicators for the visitor economy remain strong and that benefits Canada, Ontario, the greater Toronto region and the 329,000 people that work in tourism-related industries.”