PITTSBURGH — To coincide with the city's bicentennial year, VisitPITTSBURGH unveiled the 2016 Official Visitors Guide to Pittsburgh at a Launch Party aboard the Gateway Clipper on Thursday evening. The 130-page special issue of the annual guide commemorates Pittsburgh's tourism history and celebrates the region through the eyes of a visitor.
The Official Visitors Guide is filled with essential visitor information and includes "Remaking History" segments highlighting the early days of Pittsburgh icons, such as the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol's gravesite and Heinz Hall — all which continue to attract tourists from around the world.
The unique cover features a striking photo of downtown Pittsburgh that has been die-cut in one section to show an inside illustration of what the city looked like in 1902. A pull-out timeline of "A Visitor's View of Pittsburgh History" highlights 57 historical tourism-related events since the city was incorporated in 1816. The timeline marks everything from Pittsburgh's first major hotel (1840) and inaugural ride on the Duquesne Incline (1877), to the Fort Pitt Tunnel's ribbon cutting (1960) and the opening of CONSOL Energy Center (2010).
"As Pittsburgh celebrates its bicentennial throughout 2016, it was only fitting that this year's guide accentuates our proud past from a tourism perspective," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. "We're doing our part to help celebrate Pittsburgh's bicentennial with this one-of-a-kind book that beautifully reflects the city's impressive transformation."
In addition to being used as planning aid for tourists (more than 100 events are highlighted), the Official Visitors Guide to Pittsburgh serves as a tool to help VisitPITTSBURGH's convention sales team "sell the city" to meeting planners who are considering booking an event, convention or meeting in the city. It's also provided to travel writers interested in writing Pittsburgh-focused articles.
More than 150 VisitPITTSBURGH partners whose businesses are featured within the Official Visitors Guide to Pittsburgh attended the Launch Party. In celebration of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, also highlighted in the guide, the menu for the event included specialty foods representing several ethnic neighborhoods, such as potato and cheese pierogies (representing Polish Hill), melon and prosciutto platters (representing Morningside), Bavarian pork and soft pretzels (representing Troy Hill.)
Single copies of the 2016 Official Visitors Guide to Pittsburgh are available free of charge by calling 1-877-LOVE PGH (1-877-568-3744). Or, visitors may pick up a copy at the WELCOME Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop in Fifth Avenue Place, downtown Pittsburgh; VisitPITTSBURGH Welcome Centers at the Pittsburgh International Airport; Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District; Duquesne Incline on Mt. Washington; Fort Pitt Museum and South Side Chamber of Commerce. Golden Triangle Bike Rental, downtown, and Kayak Pittsburgh (open seasonally) on the North Shore will also be stocked with guides beginning this spring.
A digital version of the guide is also available for download at visitpittsburgh.com.
Archival photos used in the guide were provided by the Heinz History Center. Local design firm ocreations LLC, designed the book, while RR Donnelley handled the printing.
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.