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Tourism Revenue Drops Slightly For Pittsburgh, But Conventions Keep Bringing People

Kailey Love
90.5 WESA

Greater Pittsburgh was host to nearly 12 million overnight trips in 2016, according to new data from the Pennsylvania State Tourism Office

This pumped almost $6 billion into the local economy, which is 1.6 percent less than tourism revenue in 2015.

The largest chunk of the revenue, $1.83 billion, came from transportation costs. Food and drink accounted for $1.2 billion, recreation added $1.19 billion, retail added $953 million and lodging generated $766.8 million.

Conventions and events played a role in drawing visitors, according to Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, which promotes tourism in Allegheny County.

"Just last year, [our] sales team booked 483 events, representing 331,000 room nights," he said.

Davis said conventions are more likely to come to Pittsburgh if competitive hotel rates can be promised.

"The stumbling blocks are always whether or not the price is right and out hotels can give them the rate that they need," Davis said. "But for the most part, Pittsburgh has a wonderful package, and our community really does respond very well to customers who want to book their conventions here."

Roughly 3,000 hotel rooms have been built in Pittsburgh in the last six years.

Visitor spending in greater Pittsburgh in 2016 was ranked third in the state, behind greater Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Dutch country.