Record tourism arrivals and spending in Toronto
A further 26 million people travelled to Toronto for day trips, totaling 40.4 million visitors for the year in Canada’s most-visited destination. Visitors to Toronto spent $7.2 billion during their trips, the highest amount of economic activity the sector has ever generated.
Toronto surpassed 4 million international visitors for the first time in 2015 as American and overseas travellers continued to visit in greater numbers.
Overnight visitors from the U.S. increased for the fifth consecutive year to 2.48 million and produced direct spending in Toronto of $1.32 billion. Overseas travellers, led by China and the U.K., numbered a record 1.75 million and spent $1.49 billion.
While visits to Toronto by Americans have increased every year since 2010, the 10 per cent growth in 2015 is the strongest year-over-year improvement yet.
Arrivals by air have driven the growth in U.S. travel to Toronto and now account for 65 per cent of all trips by Americans to Toronto. In 2015 both air and land crossings surged, resulting in a record number of American visits.
Tourism Toronto has intensified marketing efforts in the U.S. including the new Toronto Stopover program for Americans flying overseas via Air Canada, and expanded marketing partnerships with national and provincial partners.
Apart from the U.S., China remained the top international market for tourism with 260,400 travellers visiting Toronto in 2015, an increase of 13 per cent over the prior year.
Other key source countries were the U.K. with 237,800 visitors (+10 per cent), India (106,700, +13 per cent), Japan (89,740, +3 per cent), Germany, (83,900, -1 per cent), Brazil (58,600, +24 per cent) and Mexico (37,750, +24 per cent).
Hotels in the Toronto region sold a record 9,647,500 room nights in 2015, an increase of 2.6 per cent. Over the past three years, increased tourism to Toronto has added 676,000 more annual hotel room nights.
There are more than 315,000 people employed in tourism and hospitality in the Toronto region. ■