Destination Toronto revealed business events in 2023 are on pace to bring an estimated $624 million in economic impact to the Toronto economy. While these visitors will have a welcome impact in 2023, this represents 55 per cent of what meetings and events contributed in 2019. Toronto is on the road to rebuilding the impact of the meetings industry, but remains well short of pre-pandemic levels. Currently, 2024 is on pace to deliver only 21 per cent of the pre-pandemic economic impact from meetings and events.
“Hosting major events and conferences in Toronto delivers economic impact to our local economy, and it also adds to the city’s vibrancy, bringing together big thinkers in sectors where we are leaders like tech, finance, and healthcare,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of Destination Toronto. “When we couldn’t meet in-person we were reminded of the value of face-to-face interactions, which can lead to unplanned business connections and inspire new ideas.”
On March 28, in support of the meetings and event industry, the Government of Canada released its budget for fiscal year 2023-24 funding a multi-year investment “to attract major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.”
According to Meetings Mean Business Canada, advocacy priorities include removing barriers like processing times for NEXUS and Visa (visitor and work) applications, reputational damage around Canada’s airport experience, reigniting and fast-tracking the positive economic impact of business events through tax incentives and / or rebates, and more.
This spring, during April, May, and June, Toronto will welcome approximately 130,000 attendees to the city. Upcoming citywide events (events with more than 1,500 attendees) include:
- American Counseling Association (ACA), ACA Annual Conference & Exhibition (4,200)
- Ontario Volleyball Association, Ontario Championships 2023 (7,200)
- Ontario Public Service Employee Union, 2023 Annual Conference (3,000)
- Canadian Produce Marketing Association, 2023 CPMA Convention and Trade Show (4,000).