Toronto saw nearly 14M visitors in 2013
Tourist Christiane Nilles (right) from Luxembourg gets a guided running tour of Toronto as they pass the Art Gallery of Ontario on July 27, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
TORONTO - The number of international visitors to Toronto hit a record high in 2013, according to Tourism Toronto.
The industry association says the country's largest city saw an estimated 13.69 million tourists last year, with 1.42 million of arriving from outside of Canada and the United States.
Tourism Toronto says visitors spent an estimated $6.54 billion in accommodations, restaurants, taxis, retail and entertainment in 2013.
Visitors from overseas countries spent an average 4.5 nights per trip, and spent an estimated $1 billion in the city last year.
The majority of the overseas tourists came from the U.K., while tourists from China accounted for the most growth year-over-year.
Meanwhile, the number of American visitors topped over two million — the third straight year in a row that figure has grown.
Tourism Toronto says 9.22 million hotel rooms were booked in 2013, up 2.8 per cent year-over year. The total hotel occupancy rate came in at 69.3 per cent.
The association attributed the rise to several major events and conventions held in Toronto last year.
"The momentum of the past several years and continued repositioning of our product has propelled Toronto to another strong year," said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto in a statement.
"Our growth strategy focuses on high-value visitors from major U.S. cities and key overseas markets such as the U.K., Germany, China, Japan and Brazil."