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National Tourism Week

National Tourism Week Celebrates Nation's $759 Billion Travel Industry

VisitPittsburgh highlights how tourism impacts local economic development

PITTSBURGH - VisitPittsburgh joins hundreds of cities, states and travel-related businesses nationwide in recognition of National Tourism Week, May 7-15. Designated by Congress and established by presidential proclamation in 1983, the event highlights the impact of the nation's $759 billion travel industry and the economic and social contributions it brings to the Pittsburgh region.

National Tourism Week illustrates the importance of travel in America and recognizes its impact as a leading industry for economic growth.

"Hotels and meeting facilities, attractions, restaurants and transportation providers are among the local businesses greatly impacted by travel to the Pittsburgh region," said Joe McGrath, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh.

An estimated 10 million overnight visitors come to the Greater Pittsburgh area each year. And, in 2009 that translated into $3.1 billion in spending by visitors to Allegheny County alone. In addition, this industry supports 1 in every 16 jobs in the region and touches the community in countless other ways.

"This week, we celebrate the value of tourism and the positive impact it makes on the economy," said McGrath. "The tourism industry helps pay for vital programs in the region. In southwestern Pennsylvania, this industry employs tens of thousands of people and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues."

Nationwide, the U.S. travel industry directly employs 7.4 million people and generates payroll of $188 billion and tax revenues of about $118 billion. In Allegheny County, each household would pay $515 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the county's travel and tourism industry.

The first full week of May is recognized each year as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. The U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating National Tourism Week to be celebrated in May.

As the official tourism promotion agency for Allegheny County, VisitPittsburgh is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.