Rendez-vous: Global Travel Industry Gathering in Toronto

The world’s most influential travel buyers are meeting with the Canadian tourism industry this week in Toronto for Rendez-vous Canada.

The annual event is Canada’s premier tourism marketplace, bringing together the Canadian tourism industry, with approximately 600 tour operators, travel buyers, agents and wholesalers, from more than 30 countries around the world. The event promotes Canadian destinations directly to those that sell travel experiences in international markets.

Rendez-vous Canada 2019 is co-hosted by Destination Ontario and Tourism Toronto – the 10th time Ontario has hosted the conference and the sixth time for Toronto since it began 43 years ago. The event is co-managed and produced by Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Rendez-vous Canada is held in a different Canadian city each year, with this year’s conference running from May 28-31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Destination Ontario and Tourism Toronto are working in partnership with Destination Northern Ontario, Ottawa Tourism, UP Express and the Niagara Parks Commission to support the event.

“Over 15 million international visitors travel to Ontario each year to experience Ontario’s stunning landscapes, local cuisine, arts and culture and celebrate our diversity,” said Lisa LaVecchia, president and CEO, Destination Ontario. “International tourists travel for longer periods and spend more, $10 billion annually; they are high-yield economic drivers and are significantly important to Ontario’s tourism industry.”

Travel buyers – like tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and online retailers – play a significant role in bringing international visitors to Toronto and the province each year, with Rendez-vous Canada providing a key meeting place for the industry to discuss business opportunities and partnerships. The event itself generates $3.6 million in direct economic impact for Toronto, and more than $90 million in potential future business for Ontario from meetings conducted during the event.

“Tourism is an economic driver for Toronto that sees 44 million visitors and $9 billion in spending each year,” said Jon Mamela, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer at Tourism Toronto. “A big part of that business comes from international leisure travellers. These top international travel buyers at Rendez-vous Canada connect us with those potential visitors – making Rendez-vous Canada a pivotal event for Toronto as a travel destination.”

A key aspect of Rendez-vous Canada is the Marketplace that matches 1,900 delegates in a series of one-on-one meetings designed to garner potential business. Over the course of the event, more than 32,000 pre-scheduled timed appointment meetings are expected to be held between international travel buyers and Canadian travel sellers. More than 150 tourism businesses from across Ontario will take part.

“Rendez-vous Canada is an important industry event, and it’s fitting that it is taking place this year in Ontario – one of the best places in the world to visit and do business,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Rendez-vous Canada connects the country’s finest tourism offerings and opportunities with potential visitors and investors from around the world, and we’re proud to show them that Ontario is open for business.”