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Americans visiting Toronto in droves: Tourism board

Last Updated Feb 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm EDT

A 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square for the Pan Am and Pam American Games. TWITTER/@g026r

The falling loonie may be troublesome for Canadians looking to travel abroad, but Toronto’s tourism industry is doing better than ever.

The city has become a top tourist destination for travellers from the United States and overseas.

Tourism Toronto says the city set another record last year with over 14 million visitors who stayed at least one night. That’s on top of the 26 million day visitors, who didn’t stay the night.

Overall, around 40 million visitors came to Toronto for day trips, spending $7.2 billion.

Tourism Toronto says visitor numbers have been on the rise for six years in a row.

“Our destination has never looked better or been more attractive to foreign and domestic travellers,” Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto, said in a release.

Travellers from the U.S. made up most of the international visitors, totalling nearly three million and injecting around $1.3 billion into the local economy. Sixty-five per cent of Americans who visited the city arrived by air.

While more Americans have visited the city each year since 2010, the 10 per cent growth in 2015 is the “strongest year-over-year improvement yet,” Tourism Toronto says.

“On average there are 6,800 American travellers and a further 4,800 visitors from other countries in Toronto every single day, and that speaks to the growing appeal of Toronto on a global scale,” Bélanger said.

Aside from the U.S., China was the top international market for tourism with 260,400 travellers visiting Toronto in 2015, an increase of 13 per cent over the previous year.

With the increase in tourism, hotels in the Toronto area sold a record 9,647,500 room nights in 2015 – an an increase of 2.6 per cent from the previous year.