Toronto set new records in tourism by welcoming 14.3 million overnight visitors in 2014. Key drivers were a fourth consecutive year of growth in visitors from the U.S., and the highest number of overseas visitors ever in the destination.

According to a report released by Tourism Toronto, 2.3 million U.S. citizens arrived in the city last year for an overnight stay, which is a 3.7 per cent increase over 2013. In addition, the U.S. visitor profile continues to shift toward travellers from key American cities that are likely to fly to Toronto, stay longer and spend more. Americans who flew to Toronto accounted for 64 per cent of total U.S. visitors in 2014. Total visitor spending, including same-day trips, was $6.9 billion in the Toronto region across a range of businesses and activities including accommodations, attractions, restaurants, meeting venues, taxis, retail and entertainment.

For the first time, China became the top overseas market with 230,485 visitors representing a 27 per cent increase over 2013. Other top markets include India , Japan, and Germany. This all amounted to a record number of nearly 10 million hotel room nights sold in the Toronto region, equaling approximately a 70% cent hotel occupancy in 2014. Both of these figures were the highest of all major cities in Canada. Toronto is also the most-visited destination in Canada by fellow Canadians with 10.5 million overnight domestic visits in 2014.

“The world is continuing to take notice of Toronto’s emergence as an exciting leisure travel and meetings hot spot”, said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Looking ahead, we expect an even bigger economic boost this year as we host the TO2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games”, said Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Toronto’s convention sector also reached new heights in 2014 by booking a record number of future hotel room nights for conventions and meetings. In 2014, Tourism Toronto and its partners confirmed 665 future meetings and conventions including 13 major conventions to be hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In all, these meetings will bring 463,400 attendees to the Toronto region, generating 640,345 hotel room nights. The impact of meetings is far-reaching as many international delegates extend their stay, bring family with them to the convention and often are inspired to return again for a pleasure trip to explore the region.

As well, visitors continue to flock to Toronto for annual events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto Pride, North-by-Northeast, Canadian Music Week, and more

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.