Pittsburgh’s visitors and tourism bureau, VisitPITTSBURGH said 2014 was a strong year, but that 2015 is shaping up to be busier.
The organization released its annual report Thursday, highlighting the economic impact tourism has on the region. Each year the industry brings about $5.6 billion to the region and supports some 40,000 jobs.
“Forty-thousand jobs is certainly nothing to sneeze at,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “That’s an amazing number and [shows] how important this industry is to our continued economic growth. We do a lot of things in Pittsburg very well right now whether it’s finance IT, energy, manufacturing, life sciences. Tourism is one of those things that’s right there.”
VisitPITTSBURGH cited the city’s appearance on Undercover Boss as one booster, along with people who come on business returning for vacation.
“All told, our convention sales team booked 533 meetings and conventions and sold 271,022 room nights for 2014 and beyond,” said Craig Davis, VisitPITTSBURGH president and CEO.
Some of the upcoming conventions being held in Pittsburgh include the National League of Cities, Anthrocon, American Trucking Association and the National Society of Black Engineers.
“2015 is going to be the biggest year I’ve ever seen in Pittsburgh from a hotel/convention standpoint,” said Davis. “I’ve been in this marketplace for 22 years and I have not yet seen a year like this year is shaping up to be.”
Davis didn’t have exact numbers, but said that conclusion was reached through estimates of how many people are attending conferences and booking rooms in the city.