VisitPITTSBURGH Cites Visitor Spending Numbers as Latest Verification of City’s Growing Popularity

PITTSBURGH, PA – VisitPITTSBURGH today announced at its Summer Spotlight event that the local travel and tourism industry continues to account for billions of dollars in total annual spending for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The event, which was held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown, helped celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs May 1-7.

Citing recent visitor spending numbers, including those just released by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, VisitPITTSBURGH said that visitor spending in Allegheny County in 2014 increased $100 million over the previous year to more than $5.7 billion. In addition, more than 40,000 Allegheny County residents are now employed in travel and tourism jobs or jobs supported by travel and tourism.

The $5.7 billion in visitor spending in Allegheny is broken down as follows:

  • Transportation - $1.8 billion
  • Food and Beverage - $1.1 billion
  • Recreation - $1.1 billion
  • Retail - $916 million 
  • Lodging - $719 million
    Source: The Pennsylvania Tourism Office -- 2014 visitor spending numbers for Allegheny County.

According to Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, "Special thanks go to all Pittsburghers and residents of Allegheny County and surrounding counties who make our city so welcoming and such a popular place to visit. They truly are the ones who have helped fuel our city’s transformation and who every day put a great face on our city."

Davis said that according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, there were more than 11.3 million overnight stays in Allegheny County in 2014. In addition, state and local tax revenue generated by visitors was $356 million in 2014, up from $349 million the previous year.

"Our city and county growth, of course, has been led by the vision and hard work of our elected officials and business leaders," said Davis. "And, VisitPITTSBURGH is just one of the many organizations and individuals who are helping to drive visitors to Pittsburgh through tourism, business development, higher education, health care, banking, technology, sports, theatre, energy, special events and many other industries. That is one of the reasons why our city is on so many top 10 lists. The other reason is that Pittsburgh is a red hot brand thanks to our growing restaurant scene, hotels, museums, Cultural District, attractions, beauty and river life and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center."

Davis said that this week three organizations -- the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon -- again helped positively impact the local economy and put Pittsburgh in the national spotlight.

"Congratulations to the Penguins who are having great playoffs," said Davis. "Every home game in the second round will result in total spending in our city of more than $4.1 million. Also, congratulations to Patrice Matamoros and the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon team for another great weekend. This event has developed into a weekend of races highlighted by the marathon. The total spending to our local economy is now more than $10.2 million."

"In addition, our Pirates had a great April, and the team has had a significant economic impact on our city, especially during the past three playoff years. That impact increases when the Pirates host teams such as the Cubs and Cardinals whose fans travel well. And, in June, of course, the U.S. Open returns to Oakmont for the ninth time. The USGA predicts $140 million in economic impact for this year's event."

Tourism and travel should remain strong this year and well into the future, according to Davis. Last year, VisitPITSBURGH booked 577 meetings and conventions for 2015 and beyond, which equates to more than 272,000 room nights and more than $155 million dollars in future direct spending to our economy. In addition, its Sports Development team booked 52 sports events and more than 65,000 room nights, contributing more than $49 million dollars in direct spending to Allegheny County.

"As we said at our annual meeting in March, 2014 and 2015 were great years for tourism in Allegheny County, and we anticipate another great year in 2016," said Davis.

VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. It is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.