Press Release:

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Download the press release: Toronto takes top spot in two global travel rankings(PDF).

TORONTO, May 23, 2019 – Two new tourism ranking reports further cement Toronto’s place as a top global travel destination. Toronto hosted more international delegates from meetings, conferences and events than any other city in North America in 2018; the city has also been named the number one North American travel destination preferred by students and teachers. The rankings come as Toronto continues to reach record-breaking levels with 44 million visitors to the city that spend more than $9 billion, annually.

Toronto hosted more international meeting delegates in 2018 than any other city in North America

Toronto has broken the North American record for number of delegates attending international association meetings and conventions, according to the 2018 International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA) City Rankings Report. The record-breaking 2018 saw 84,600 international attendees, more than any other city in North American history.

Globally, Toronto ranked 7th for international attendance and was the only North American city in the top 10. Toronto also ranked second overall for the number of meetings hosted in North America.

“Meetings, conventions and events are economic drivers for Toronto with an economic impact of more than $565 million,” said Tara Gordon, Vice President, Business Events at Destination Toronto. “Attracting international meetings is an economic growth strategy for Toronto and it’s also an opportunity to showcase key sectors like tech, finance and health care. We’re seeing Toronto’s outstanding reputation being elevated in these sectors with the number of international attendees that now surpasses every other city in North America.”

In addition to the North American record, Toronto remains the only Canadian city to grow the number of international meetings year-over-year.

“The meetings and events industry is very competitive, and we are proud of Toronto’s continued success,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, President and CEO of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. “These impressive results speak to the positive sentiment for our city on an international level, and also to our ability to deliver exceptional experiences for delegates with the help of key partners.”

ICCA 2018 Report Highlights:

  • Toronto hosted 84,600 international attendees – breaking the North American record.
  • Toronto was the only Canadian destination to grow the number of international meetings in 2018 (75 meetings versus 73 in 2017).
  • Toronto placed 7th globally in international attendance, the only North American city in the top 10.
  • Toronto breaks its own record number of international meetings hosted in a single year (75).
  • Toronto hosted six international conventions and meetings with more than 3,000 attendees, the most for a Canadian city.
  • Toronto hosted the second most meetings in North America (for back-to-back years).

Toronto named #1 North American destination favoured by students and teachers

Toronto has also been selected as the number one travel destination favoured by students and teachers, according to tour operator members of Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) in its 2019 Student Destinations list. The non-profit professional trade association promotes student and youth travel worldwide.

“Toronto is Canada’s hub for education, entertainment, and culture – a city invigorated by nine colleges and universities where student life thrives,” said Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Development for Destination Toronto. “We know that travellers want experiences that change them – experiences they are proud to share with their friends and family. Toronto is a city with a deep sense of welcome, inclusiveness and openness, and that resonates and appeals to students from all over the world.”

ABOUT Destination Toronto

Destination Toronto is the official destination marketing organization for the region, “Canada’s Downtown” – encompassing Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. 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 Tourism, Culture and Sport. For more information please visit


Matt McNama
Corporate Communications Manager
Destination Toronto