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VisitPittsburgh Reports Good Year for 2010

At its Annual Meeting held today at CONSOL Energy Center, VisitPittsburgh announced that it booked 472 meetings and conventions for 2010 and beyond. This compares to 434 meetings and conventions booked in 2009. The team sold 253,991 room nights for future years, an impressive 101 percent of the 2010 goal. 2010 bookings represent an anticipated direct spending totaling $286 million, up from $249 million in 2009. These bookings account for 205 usage days for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, compared to 191 in 2009. 

Among the major conventions and groups booked by VisitPittsburgh in 2010:

  • Fraternal Order of Police - 2015 Biennial National Convention & Expo (19,356 room nights)
  • 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (12,974 room nights)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - 2013 Churchwide Assembly (8,930 room nights)
  • National Association of Pastoral Musicians - 2012 National Convention (6,254 room nights)
  • Association for Iron and Steel Technology - AISTECH 2016 (5,793 room nights)

The 2010 "Bring It Home" campaign - which encourages local leaders of national organizations to bring meetings to the greater Pittsburgh area - continues to be successful. In 2010, 263 bookings represented 134,000 room nights booked for future years. These bookings account for 257,240 attendees and represent $178 million in direct spending, up from $162 million in 2009.

Pittsburgh hotels continued to perform at an exceptionally high level. The world's foremost source of hotel performance trends, Smith Travel Research, reports that there has been a 15 percent growth in hotel rooms sold in the Pittsburgh region since 2006. In 2010, compared to our competitive set, Pittsburgh's ranked first in overall occupancy and second based on Average Daily Rate. In addition, based on growth in rooms sold over the previous year, Pittsburgh ranked as the top 13th destination in the United States.

"These are impressive numbers, particularly in light of a challenging economy," said Joe McGrath, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh. "And, we are proud of our strategic approach to marketing and advertising that assisted in these very positive returns."     

In 2010, VisitPittsburgh again stepped up to the plate as a community leader and paved the way for a comprehensive approach to the activities surrounding First Night and the NHL Winter Classic. "It is VisitPittsburgh's continuing collaboration with the hospitality industry, the corporate community, government leaders, non-profit organizations and numerous attractions that work to strengthen the region," said Mr. McGrath.

And, the entire region benefited from VisitPittsburgh's aggressive public relations efforts. In 2010, VisitPittsburgh hosted 57 travel writers/broadcast media, which resulted in stories being placed in Delta Sky magazine, Arrive (Amtrak's onboard magazine), Philadelphia Magazine, and numerous international publications and broadcast outlets. In 2010, the organization generated nearly 1,800 stories, generating $12.2 million in advertising equivalency value.

On the tourism front, VisitPittsburgh launched a pilot advertising program with Positively Cleveland that resulted in a 51 percent increase in visitors from the Cleveland area. In addition, attraction tickets sold on increased 45 percent. And, retail sales from the new WELCOME Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop, located in Fifth Avenue Place, increased by 432 percent.

VisitPittsburgh is dedicated to generating conventions, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region. Our mission remains intact today as the official tourism promotion agency for Allegheny County and as an independent, nonprofit organization serving its business membership.