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February 2, 2015

Canada: Toronto Breaks Meetings Record

Toronto’s convention sector booked a record number of future hotel room nights for conventions and meetings in 2014, reports Tourism Toronto, the tourism and convention association for Canada’s largest city. 

In the 12 months ending December 31, 2014, Tourism Toronto and its partners confirmed 665 future meetings and conventions that will bring 463,400 attendees to the Toronto region and generate 640,345 hotel room nights. 

Of the meetings booked in 2014, 16 are considered “major meetings” with typically more than 2,000 attendees at multiple hotels. Thirteen of these meetings will convene at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Major wins in 2014 for future years included the American Educational Research Association in 2019 (14,400 attendees) and Perfect China in 2016 (5,000 attendees).

“Toronto offers so much for our meeting delegates—from great convention facilities right in the downtown, plenty of flight options and all the culture that can easily be explored outside of the convention hours,” said Laurie Cipriano of American Educational Research Association. “Choosing Toronto for our meetings in 2019 made a lot of sense and will be well-received by our members.”

During 2014, Toronto hosted such global events as International Astronautical Federation with 2,500 attendees from around the world, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (4,500 attendees), Million Dollar Round Table (7,000 attendees) and Lions Club International (15,000 attendees).

“Conventions, meetings and events are a mainstay of the tourism economy in Toronto providing solid business for the region and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO, Tourism Toronto. “Conventions generate spending on a range of businesses including hotels, restaurants, retail, taxis and convention centres. In addition, a significant number of services benefit from the meetings industry such as audio-visual, entertainment, attractions and transportation.”

According to a 2014 survey of professional meeting planners conducted by Watkins Research, once planners have held meetings in Toronto, they are quick to recommend the city to others. Toronto has a #1 ranked Client Advocate Score from Watkins Research, which ranks 40 cities in North America. 

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