Johanne Bélanger has been appointed president and chief executive of Tourism Toronto, effective September 1st, 2015.
Bélanger was president of Freeman Audio Visual Canada for the past ten years and, throughout her career, has been a globally recognised leader in exhibitions and events.
She also served as chair of Tourism Toronto’s board of directors from 2012 to 2014 and has been a member of the Board since 2009.
“Johanne is a dynamic leader and brings a combination of global experience and a partnership-focused approach,” said Heather McCrory, chair of Tourism Toronto’s board.
“With a strong team in place and a continued emphasis on generating sustained growth from key international markets, we are delighted to have Johanne step in to guide the organisation through its next phase.”
The Toronto region is the most-visited destination in Canada, welcoming 14.3 million overnight visitors last year.
Toronto set new tourism records last year including the most international visits ever at 1.42 million, and saw growth from the important US market for the fourth consecutive year with 2.3 million Americans visiting the destination.
The tourism and hospitality sector employs 315,000 people across the region.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of Tourism Toronto’s board leadership and I’m truly excited to move into a more hands-on role in such a rapidly evolving industry,” said Bélanger.
“We are building on a successful foundation and now have the opportunity to connect the tourism business to more partners and related sectors of the economy and drive growth in the years ahead.
“Our destination is riding a wave of momentum and moving up the must-see list for travellers around the world.
“We have an opportunity now to capitalise on that wave and further entrench the Toronto region as a place to visit, to meet and then to come back and visit again,” concluded Bélanger.