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BY Rob Gill


WTM 2017: Toronto’s newcomers

Toronto is hoping to use a succession of hotel openings to attract more upmarket tourists to Canada’s largest city.

Toronto skyline at dusk

“Winter is cool and Toronto is an exciting place no matter the season.”

Among the new Toronto properties due to open in 2018 will be Kimpton’s first Canadian property in the city’s Bloor-Yorkville area.

A Nobu hotel and restaurant is also set to make its debut next year – another first for Canada – while the former Trump International Hotel will be rebranded as the St Regis Toronto following refurbishment.

Other markets that the Ontario city is keen to promote during WTM London include city breaks, students and disabled travellers.

Another focus is on the LGBTQ sector – Toronto will host the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s annual global convention in May 2018.

The city may be known for its cold winters, but Tourism Toronto is keen to attract visitors during this period.

Michele Simpson, media relations manager at Tourism Toronto, said: “Winter events and activities prove Toronto is a city that isn’t afraid of the cold and despite this ‘hibernation’ term floating around, there are a slew of major parties, events and festivals happening both inside and out.

“Winter is cool and Toronto is an exciting place no matter the season.”

China is now the top international source market (after the US) for arrivals to Toronto with around 300,000 arrivals per year, just ahead of the UK, which provides around 260,000 visitors per year to the city.

Toronto is set for another impressive year in 2017 with figures from Pearson International airport showing a 9.8% rise in international arrivals to a total of 11.5 million passengers for the first eight months of the year.

Extra flights from the UK and Ireland should also help boost visitor numbers in 2018, with British Airways starting flights from Gatwick to Toronto three times a week from May, and Air Canada planning a direct service between Toronto and Dublin from June.

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