One Pittsburgh, Many Voices: Why the Region is a Thriving Travel Destination
According to Tourism Economics’ baseline forecast, visitor spending in Allegheny County is expected to reach $7.1 billion this year.
The Steel City has much to offer tourists — stunning views of the skyline from Mount Washington, a multitude of arts and cultural museums, one of the oldest amusement parks in the country and, of course, home of the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.
It’s no wonder VisitPITTSBURGH announced Wednesday during its annual meeting the 2022 tourism economy in Allegheny County broke records.
Nearly 250 members of the region’s travel and tourism community gathered in the August Wilson African American Cultural Center Downtown under the theme: One Pittsburgh, Many Voices, to celebrate “the many businesses and attractions that make Pittsburgh a thriving travel destination,” a release from VisitPITTSBURGH reads.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2022 Pittsburgher of the Year, also received the VisitPITTSBURGH Bob Imperata Passion for Pittsburgh Award during the meeting, and Mayor Ed Gainey provided comments.
“Increased demand for travel in 2022 resulted in a strong hotel performance for Allegheny County, one of our key metrics for measuring recovery,” said VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO Jerad Bachar in the release. “In fact, 3.8 million room nights were consumed in the county last year, and in all, lodging revenues for hotel room nights and shared accommodations throughout the county totaled $592 million.”
Other highlights from the meeting include:
- VisitPITTSBURGH’s Business Events Sales team and SportsPITTSBURGH booked 223 events in 2022, generating 319,000 hotel room nights and an expected record high of $266 million in direct visitor spend;
- For the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, VisitPITTSBURGH’s Business Events Sales team and SportsPITTSBURGH booked 74 events for 2022 and beyond, a 54% increase over 2019 bookings, resulting in an expected $159 million in direct spending for more than 188,000 hotel room nights;
- 163 VisitPITTSBURGH and SportsPITTSBURGH-generated events were held in 2022, generating $164 million in direct spend and more than 153,000 hotel room nights.
“Our results from 2022 are very strong, and 2023 has already started with much promise,” Bachar added. “According to Tourism Economics’ baseline forecast, visitor spending in Allegheny County is expected to reach $7.1 billion, surpassing 2019 levels by 9%, with hotel occupancy expected to reach 64%. And, perhaps most importantly, the local tourism sector is anticipating a gain of 3,100 jobs, with more than 47,000 total jobs in the tourism sector expected by year end.”
“The enthusiasm to travel to Pittsburgh is real, and it’s going to continue to grow.”