Toronto — The city of Toronto announced Friday that it will sign a deal with travel agency Travelocity to provide the company with more than $5.5 million in annual revenue.
The money will be used to help create more job opportunities for the city’s unemployed.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the deal is part of the city getting back on track after the financial crisis and will help the city create more jobs.
“This is another step in our journey to get the city back on its feet, and to keep our promise to our citizens,” Tory said in a news release.
“It is good news for our city that this partnership is working for Toronto and we’re proud to have it.”
Tory said he has been working with Tourismocity since 2013, when he was a member of council.
The deal will also see Tourismocity work with the City of Toronto to create jobs for the unemployed.
“The agreement between the two parties will help build a stronger tourism industry in Toronto, while also bringing meaningful revenue to our provincial treasury,” Tory added.
Tourismocity said the agreement is the first of its kind in Canada and is part, but not the only, part of its efforts to build a strong tourism industry.
“We are excited to be working with the city and this will allow us to provide a level playing field for Toronto’s unemployed citizens, while helping to make Toronto a more welcoming and accessible city,” said Andrew MacDougall, CEO of Tourismocity.
“Travelocity is a key partner in helping Toronto recover from the financial shock of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
This partnership will help us expand our footprint and increase our ability to attract and retain talented workers,” he said.
The Toronto city councillor who chairs the city council’s Economic Development Committee, Councillor Mike Layton, welcomed the deal.
“There is a lot of economic development going on right now, and this agreement will bring some money into the city that will be very important for the economy,” Layton said in an interview.
“I am pleased to see that they have been successful with this partnership and that it is going to be a success for Toronto, but I am also a bit concerned that the deal doesn’t go far enough, as there is still a long way to go.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said the partnership will also give the city a way to hire more people in the future.
“To have that money go to the city, I think, is great for the people who are here in Toronto and they’re really good people, I’m sure, and we will keep doing what we do best,” Ford said.
He said he hopes the city will continue to have jobs for its unemployed workers.
“A lot of people are hurting,” he added.
The agreement comes just two weeks after Toronto became the first Canadian city to announce a new tourism policy.
The city’s tourism board is expected to vote on the new policy in the coming weeks.