Press Release:
New Analysis: Toronto’s visitor economy generates $10.3 billion in economic impact

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Download the press release: New Analysis: Toronto’s visitor economy generates $10.3 billion in economic impact.

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 – Toronto’s visitor economy is a vital catalyst for the city and regional economy, according to new data prepared for Destination Toronto and the Toronto Region Board of Trade. The analysis in, Toronto’s Visitor Economy: An Economic Catalyst for the City and the Region, shows that visitors to Toronto generate an economic impact of $10.3 billion annually, from the city’s 27.5 million visitors per year. The significant impact is felt through tax revenue, job creation and growth, and overall spend in many industry sectors, making the opportunity to grow the visitor economy an important one.

The data analysis, produced by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics, highlights that the visitor economy generates significant tax revenue – to the sum of $1.8 billion in taxes for all three levels of government. These funds help pay for essential services and amounts to $1,020 of tax revenue saved for every household in Toronto.

Visitor spending has a significant impact on industries and employment in Toronto. Nearly 70,000 jobs are supported by visitor spending, with those positions generating $3.1 billion in wages for employees and representing 4.6 per cent of all jobs within Toronto. With 10,000 new jobs added over the last five years, jobs supported by visitor spending are also growing at a faster rate than the overall economy.

“The visitor economy is an important pillar in Toronto’s diverse economy, and an incubator for the broader economy that fuels industries and creates jobs for residents,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto. “This is a destination with visitors as diverse as the city itself. From the leisure travellers, to the delegates here for meetings, conferences and events, Toronto’s visitor economy is thriving – and when the visitor economy is strong, so is Toronto.”

The data also found that the benefits of the visitor economy are felt beyond the city of Toronto. When looking at the Toronto region, in 2018, the economic impact of the visitor economy reached $17.6 billion, creating more than 121,000 total jobs, and $5.2 billion in wages. Visitors also provide a significant economic boost for communities outside the Toronto region, as they spend a further $2 billion in communities including Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Muskoka.

“Tourism is central to business growth. Whether a visitor is coming to our region for business, pleasure, or both, that visit is a critical economic driver that crosses multiple industries,” states Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “A tourist visit or conference kicks into action a value chain composed of service, hospitality, and event staging sectors, and then reaches beyond to other sectors including technology, healthcare, finance and education.”

The visitor economy is a major growth sector for Toronto. Visitor arrivals to the city have increased 17 per cent over five years. While visitation is on the rise, visitor spending is growing even faster, with a 46 per cent increase from 2013 to 2018. The increase in visitor spending is driven by Toronto’s growing share of the international visitor market. Long haul international visitors stay longer and spend more.

Toronto’s meetings, conferences and events industry is at the heart of a strong visitor economy. Major conventions (over 1,000 delegates) welcome nearly 400,000 business delegates, generating more than $850 million in economic impact.

“We are Canada’s downtown – more and more people want to visit Toronto to enjoy everything our city has to offer. This report makes it clear how important our vibrant visitor economy is to supporting jobs and businesses here in Toronto and across Ontario,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “I am committed to working with the federal and provincial governments to ensure we are helping to further grow and strengthen this sector because we know a strong visitor economy here in Toronto is good for everyone.”

To read the full analysis, click here.


    27.5 million visitors in Toronto in 2018
    9.5 million overnight visitors
    18.1 million day visitors
    $6.5 billion in directly spending and $3.8 billion in indirect and induced spending
    $10.3 billion in total economic impact for the city
    $17.6 billion in total economic impact for the Toronto region
    Toronto visitors continue to travel and spend a further $2 billion spent in other communities
    across Ontario
    69,950 total jobs for Toronto residents, generating $3.1 billion in wages
    121,190 in total Toronto region jobs for residents, including $5.2 billion in wages
    1.8 billion in taxes generated for all three levels of government
    Federal – $652 million
    Provincial – $876 million
    Municipal – $257 million
    6.4 million hotel room nights booked in the city
    398,993 business delegates in Toronto from 113 major conferences (those conferences and events with more than 1,000 delegates, primarily made up of visitors)
    $858 million in estimated economic impact from major conferences

*based on 2018 data and results:

ABOUT Destination Toronto

Destination Toronto is the official destination marketing organization for Toronto – “Canada’s Downtown.” With sales and marketing programs in key markets around the world, Destination Toronto promotes the Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers. Destination Toronto operates in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. For more information please visit


Positioning the Toronto Region as a global champion starts with your growth. The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America. Our constant flow of ideas, people and introductions to city-builders and government officials firmly roots us as connectors for—and with—the business community. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we advocate on behalf of business for policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region. We act as catalysts to make Toronto one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world, which starts with the success of our members. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @TorontoRBOT. .



Matt McNama
Corporate Communications Manager
Destination Toronto

Alex McBrien
Senior Manager, Communications
Toronto Region Board of Trade