By Sara Anghel, President & CEO of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association

As we reflect on the past 99 years, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) is proud to have built our community, our organization, and our industry into a critical pillar of Toronto's economic and cultural fabric. At our 2024 Hotel Summit and Annual General Meeting last June, we announced our centennial campaign, "Building on a Century of Success." This campaign will build up to our 100-year anniversary in 2025, which will celebrate a century of the hotel industry’s achievements, growth, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Since 1925, the GTHA has been an integral part of the Toronto region’s tourism and hospitality sector. Originally known as the Toronto Hotel Association, our organization has helped build up Toronto’s hotel infrastructure and supported the city’s development into a vibrant, modern metropolis. Adapting through the amalgamation of the city’s boroughs and the interconnection of the wider region, the economic shift of the 70’s and 80’s, and even World War II, the GTHA’s history is rich and varied, but always committed to those that we serve.

The Greater Toronto Area of today is a global tourism and business destination, attracting millions of visitors and billions of tourism dollars annually. Our members continue to contribute to our region’s growth by engaging diverse communities, promoting sustainable practices, and cultivating a safe and inclusive environment. These lasting contributions to the Greater Toronto Area’s socio-economic fabric reflect the best that our city and province have to offer.

As Toronto and the world have been marked by the unprecedented events of recent years, it has become clearer than ever that the hotel industry has profound economic impacts for the GTA, driving growth and supporting quality local careers.

As one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto area hotels have contended with huge operational, financial, employment, and health and safety challenges. Despite these setbacks,recent data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Tourism Research Institute highlight that most visitors to Toronto continue to choose hotels over short-term rentals. This is no surprise as our members offer unparalleled quality and customer care that merits the confidence guests place in them. Hotels are a central part of our diverse neighbourhoods and long-standing pillars of the communities they call home.

As tourism continues to rebound from the pandemic, the GTHA is committed to building on this momentum and enhancing the GTA’s competitiveness as a top-tier destination. Our hundred-year anniversary in 2025 will represent a new century for our association and its vital partnerships with government and our industry partners.

The GTHA is more than an association – it is a testament to the power of collaboration, advocacy, and the enduring spirit of the Greater Toronto Area’s hotels and their dedicated employees. Let’s seize the opportunity to build on this success together by empowering critical investment in tourism infrastructure and paving the way for future growth. Together, we will continue to build a bright, prosperous future for the GTA and for Canada, honouring our past while embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.

Sara Anghel is the President & CEO of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, representing 150 member hotels that employ over 32,000 individuals across the Greater Toronto Area. Our mission is to support and advocate for the hotel industry, ensuring its growth and sustainability to foster growth and enhance the prosperity of the region.