ShareThis Page
Tourism generates about $10B for southwestern Pennsylvania economy | TribLIVE.com
Regional

Tourism generates about $10B for southwestern Pennsylvania economy

Joe Napsha
1110347_web1_gtr-liv-regatta-races-072918
People take in the high-speed action of Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Regatta.

Tourists taking in the numerous sites in Southwestern Pennsylvania — from the Laurel Highlands to Pittsburgh’s three rivers — added about $10 billion to the economy two years ago.

Tourists’ spending added nearly $8.2 billion to the economy in Allegheny and surrounding counties in 2017, while tourism dollars added about $1.8 billion to the economy in the Laurel Highlands, according to The Economic Impact of Travel in Pennsylvania. Both regions saw an increase in spending over 2016.

In conjunction with the National Travel and Tourism Week that begins Sunday, Ann Nemanic, executive director of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, pointed out the importance of tourism, not only for the economy, but for personal well-being and hometown pride. The Ligonier-based visitors bureau is the state-designated marketing organization for Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties.

The Laurel Highlands saw an increase last year in lodging occupancy of 8.3% in 2018 and a corresponding jump of 9.2 percent in revenue.

“The first three months of 2019 are seeing double-digit increases for the first time,” Nemanic said.

Winter sports and festivals are a significant enticement to visitors, Nemanic said. Occupancy rose by 11.2% compared to 2018, with revenue rising by 12% during the winter months.

“To begin a year in this manner, we hope, is a sign of a strong tourist season for the remainder of the year,” she added.

“We know that tourism is woven so closely into the fabric of our communities,” added Nemanic.

Pittsburgh and its Countryside — Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington Counties, accounted for almost 19% of all tourism dollars spent in the state in 2017, according to the 2017 edition of “The Economic Impact of Travel in Pennsylvania.” The Laurel Highlands saw 4.2% of the state’s tourism dollars spent there.

Other stats from the “The Economic Impact of Travel in Pennsylvania”:

For Laurel Highlands:

• 11.6% or 14,878 jobs supported by travel and tourism in the Laurel Highlands

• Fayette County: $684.8 million spent in 2017, up $23.3 million from 2016.

• Somerset County: $392 million spent in 2017, a $14.7 million increase from 2016.

• Westmoreland County: $745.4 million spent in 2017, up $24.3 million from 2016.

For Pittsburgh and Its Countryside:

• 8.8 percent of the region’s jobs supported by tourism.

• Allegheny County: $6.1 billion, up from $5.9 billion in 2016.

• Armstrong County: $92.4 million, up from $88.9 million in 2016.

• Butler: $593.7 million, up from $592.1 million in 2016.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Regional
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.