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Pretty big jump from the $500,000 20 years earlier!
In 1990, the Tourism Department of the GPCVB unveiled it''s first "Group Tour Manual," a detailed guidebook for tour and motorcoach operators. The department also began to target international visitors. Over 482,000 convention delegates poured into Pittsburgh, leaving behind $187 million for the Pittsburgh economy.
The first GPCVB Golf Tournament was held at Quick Silver Golf Club on August 26, 1991. While the location has changed almost every year, this event has been held annually ever since.
In 1992, the GPCVB conducted its first leisure travel research study, examining the attitudes about Pittsburgh as a weekend destination and measuring the effectiveness of its current advertising campaign. When the results were calculated, sightseeing, shopping and sporting events topped list. These tourists spent approximately $1.09 billion dollars that year alone.
The new Greater Pittsburgh International Airport opened on October 1, 1992. In conjunction with this opening, the Bureau hosted a Super FAM Tour October 1-4 with approximately 200 meeting and trade show planners, international tour planners and national travel writers.
In 1994 came another logo change. The new brand became a square made up of four smaller squares, featuring the blue rivers, the purple cityscape at night and green surrounding the region.
Remember the $24,602 state matching fund grant the PCVB received in 1969? In 1995, Pittsburgh received $818,000 in state matching funds, which was a 10 percent increase over the previous year.
Pittsburgh played host to the American Bus Association Marketplace, December 3-5, 1995. This convention is still talked about by delegates that attended. Pittsburgh was leaving its mark on the Travel and Tourism industry in a big way!
Watch out World Wide Web: in 1996 the GPCVB launched its first website, www.pittsburgh.net to rave reviews from visitor and others looking on-line. Today the current site, visitpittsburgh.com generates over 150,000 visits per month.
Pittsburgh played host to some major conventions held in the summer of 1997, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Council of Engineering & Scientific Society Executives and the AFL-CIO.
Also in 1997, and under the recommendations of McKinsey and Company, the Bureau became part of a new coalition of private sector organizations designed to spearhead efforts to build support throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania for $1 billion worth of cultural, sports, tourism and transportation projects in and around Pittsburgh. This resulted in the development of both cultural tourism and trade show initiatives within the CVB.
The Convention Services Department constructed a Restaurant Information and Reservation booth in 1998. The booth provided a complimentary service to convention and meetings of 1,000 or more attendees at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This service allowed attendees to book their dinner reservations right from the convention center floor. In 2007, this booth was redesigned and now includes a computer touch screen, allowing visitors to search for information at their own pace.
In 1999, the Bureau launched a Local Awareness Campaign, designed to raise visibility of the travel and tourism industry and its economic impact on the community. For the third consecutive year, Allegheny County topped all other counties in Pennsylvania for tourism spending and tourism-related jobs, according to the 1998 PA Economic Impact Analysis prepared by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd.
The 20th century went out with a bang at the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau. With an annual budget of $8.4 million, 411,717 visitor inquires processed, 614 conventions booked and dozens of awards received Y2K didn't seem so scary to the GPCVB.
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