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VisitPittsburgh, the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region, held its annual meeting on April 3 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown and released some great news. The travel and tourism industry in Allegheny County generated $5.5 billion in spending, supports 39,000 jobs and creates nearly $340 million in tax revenues. Convention bookings were also up. Craig Davis, VisitPITTSBURGH president and CEO, announced that the VisitPITTSBURGH convention sales team booked 590 meetings and conventions for 2013 and beyond, compared to 576 meetings and conventions booked in 2012.
Here are a few major conventions, groups and events in 2013:
- Anthroconâ€™s 2016 Annual Convention (6,365 room nights; $6.3 million in estimated direct spending)
- USA Gymnastics 2014 National Congress & Trade Show and P&G Gymnastics Championships (6,457 room nights; $5 million)
- The Steelworkersâ€™ 2015 USW Joint Safety and Health Conference (5,385 room nights; $2.5 million)
- Collinson Media & Eventsâ€™ 2015 Connect Marketplace and Connect Sports Marketplace (5,660 room nights; $1.8 million)
Pittsburgh hotels continued to perform at an exceptionally high level. According to Smith Travel Research, the worldâ€™s foremost source of hotel performance trends, the Pittsburgh market experienced the highest occupancy rate within their competitive set for the fifth consecutive year. Pittsburgh also again outperformed the national averages for occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room.
In other big news, a rebranding initiative was launched after an in-depth market analysis was conducted from inside and outside the box. Following the research phase, the strategy and creation of the new brand for both Pittsburgh tourism and VisitPITTSBURGH were put in place. Community input was sought, a tagline developed and a logo created.
“We embraced our history and recognized the transformation that has occurred in Pittsburgh with the new tagline: â€˜Pittsburgh. Mighty. Beautiful.,â€™” explained Mr. Davis. The icon in the logo represents strength; the colors, sustainability; and the curves, architectural assets. Going forward, the new brand will be incorporated into VisitPITTSBURGHâ€™s marketing programs, advertisements, publications and more.