toronto tourism record

Toronto just set an all-time record for the most tourists ever

Some 28 million visitors spent more than $6.7 billion in Canada's largest city over the course of 2019, according to Tourism Toronto — more than ever before in recorded history.

"Toronto's visitor economy continues to be an economic engine for the city, and that benefits all of us," said Tourism Toronto president Scott Beck in a news release announcing the new record on Wednesday.

"This is a sector of Toronto's economy that supports 70,000 jobs and 10,000 new jobs over the past 10 years," the release continues. "It generates billions in tax revenue for all three levels of government and drives growth in the overall economy for the city, the region and the province."

And it's generating more and more of it each year, it seems, with more than $200 million more being spent in the city last year than was spent in 2018.

At 28.1 million, 2019's visitor numbers aren't leaps and bounds above the 27.5 million we saw in 2018. Still, the figures continue to move in the right direction after more than 10 years of consistent tourism industry growth.

"Visitors to Toronto come from all over the world, during every season and for many different reasons," says Beck. "It's a reflection of Toronto's own diversity. We're a city where more than 50 per cent of our population was born outside of Canada."

Beck credits Toronto's status as "the Canadian epicentre of culture, entertainment, sports, technology, finance, education and business" for bringing us so many international patrons.

Americans continue to make up the largest market of visitors to Toronto from outside the country, with roughly two million coming through in 2019. China is the city's largest overseas market with 222,000 Chinese visitors recorded the same year.

It's not just tourists trekking north either; business conferences and industry events attracted nearly 574,000 people in 2019 alone.

"The economic impact for meetings in Toronto in 2019 reached a record $1.24 billion," notes Tourism Toronto. "In 2019, Toronto was named Canada's top meeting destination for the second consecutive year by Cvent."

The greater Toronto region saw 45.4 visitors come through last year, generating some $10.9 billion in tourism dollars, while Canada as a whole posted a record 22.1 million international guests. Collectively, they spent about $104.9 billion.

Lead photo by

Boriz Terzic


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