Officials laud VisitPittsburgh for changing Pittsburgh’s image to the world
VisitPittsburgh last year booked 494 meetings, conventions and sporting events that pumped an estimated $226 million into the Allegheny County economy, according to Craig Davis, the organization’s president and CEO.
Davis outlined VisitPittsburgh’s 2018 accomplishments Thursday at Rivers Casino during the organization’s annual meeting. VisitPittsburgh serves as the tourist promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Davis said Pittsburgh is drawing visitors from across the globe.
“The city of Pittsburgh is being positively recognized internationally like never before in an incredibly positive light,” Davis said.
Events in Pittsburgh last year attracted about 413,000 visitors who booked 330,000 rooms in local hotels and generated $37.4 million in hotel tax revenue for Allegheny County, according to VisitPittsburgh. Last week’s NCAA Wrestling Championships at Pittsburgh’s PNC Paints Arena alone drew 100,000 fans, according to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“The leisure market, the traveling market that fills up our hotel rooms is a huge part of our economy,” Fitzgerald said. “It supports over 40,000 jobs in the hospitality industry. When you think about the hotel workers, the restaurant workers the drive-share folks in that industry, all of it is supported by the efforts of getting those folks here.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said tourism also brings new business to the region.
“We’re changing the perception of Pittsburgh on a global basis,” he said. “That is the introduction to the companies that follow, the companies that now look at Pittsburgh as a (research and development) global center.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .