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VisitPittsburgh Closes 2007 with Significant Milestones
in the Tourism and Convention Industries

Booked 454 Meetings and Conventions for 2007 and Beyond

PITTSBURGH, March 27, 2008 - VisitPittsburgh closed out 2007 with noteworthy achievements and significant milestones in the tourism and convention industries. VisitPittsburgh presented results of its 2007 sales and marketing efforts to the board of directors, partners and community stakeholders during its Annual Meeting, held today at the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center.

VisitPittsburgh continues to make significant contributions to this region, said Jeffrey W. Letwin, VisitPittsburgh board chair. As youll see from the numbers presented today at the annual meeting, tourism and conventions generate a significant return for our community. And, VisitPittsburghs sales and marketing efforts are primarily responsible for creating these outstanding, measurable results.

The Convention Sales team sold 266,247 room nights for future years -- the largest number of room nights booked for the future in VisitPittsburghs history.

Special emphasis was placed on booking business during need times that occur during traditional low occupancy periods such as winter months and holidays. In 2007, these Value Season room night bookings for future years hit 71,556 -- the most in VisitPittsburghs history and an unprecedented 92 percent increase over 2006.

In 2007, the convention sales team ;  These bookings represent an anticipated direct spending of more than $254 million -- up 34 percent over 2006.

Among the major conventions and groups booked by VisitPittsburgh last year:

  • National Rifle Association Annual Meeting & Exhibits (61,000 attendees for 2011)
  • East Coast Junior Girls Volleyball Championships (18,000 attendees for 2008 and subsequent years)
  • Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention (15,000 attendees for 2015)
  • National Society of Black Engineers (10,000 attendees for 2012)
  • National Association of Counties Annual Conference (4,200 attendees for 2012)
VisitPittsburghs Bring It Home campaign, which encourages local leaders of national organizations to bring meetings and events to the Greater Pittsburgh area, generated 155 bookings and $102 million in direct spending -- up 56 percent over 2006.

On the tourism side, VisitPittsburgh tracked 498,000 visitors to the region coming from markets in which Pittsburgh and Its Countryside advertised -- up 72 percent over 2006. All told, these visitors accounted for more than $73.6 million in direct spending. Visitor inquiries to VisitPittsburgh hit an all-time high in 2007, with 2.5 million inquiries -- up 47 percent over 2006. These increases are due, in large part, to the U.S. Open and Pittsburgh Celebrates Glass.

Over the past decade, VisitPittsburgh has utilized a two-pronged strategy to bring attention to the region, said Joseph McGrath, VisitPittsburgh president & CEO. First, we work to bring key influencers to Pittsburgh from a variety of industries. By hosting movers and shakers, of a variety of disciplines, were able to influence others about Pittsburghs many merits.

In the past, VisitPittsburgh has attracted groups such as the Inc. 500 Conference, American Bus Association and Religious Conference Management Association. In 2007, we were proud to host Destination Marketing Association Internationals Annual Conference. This year, were hosting the 2008 National Tour Association, which will bring 2,500 group tour operators to the region, and TEAMS -- Travel, Events and Management in Sports -- which attracts over 1,200 attendees, including CEOs, executive directors and event managers from sports organizations.

The second prong in VisitPittsburghs strategy is to host major events that garner national media coverage. By doing so, people across the country -- and around the world -- can see Pittsburghs transformation for themselves, said Mr. McGrath. He named, as examples, the U.S. Open in 2007, the All-Star Baseball Game in 2006 and the CITGO Bassmaster Classic in 2005. Now, we look forward to the many exciting events surrounding the Pittsburgh 250 celebration in 2008, a soon-to-be-announced event for 2009 and the U.S. Womens Open in 2010, said Mr. McGrath.

In other positive news, VisitPittsburgh hosted 54 journalists to the region. Pittsburgh and Its Countryside was featured in numerous high-profile publications, such as The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Baltimore Sun and more than 250 additional newspapers and magazines. Add to that another 200-plus placements in Web outlets, and VisitPittsburgh can be credited with bringing nearly $4 million in advertising equivalency exposure to Pittsburgh and Its Countryside.

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


Beverly Morrow-Jones
+1-412-281-0482, x3146

Also See: Pittsburgh's New Convention Center Has booked 30 Conventions in 2003, Exceeding the Projected 20 for the First Year of Operation / September 2003
In 2000, the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau Convention Sales Team Booked 457 Conventions for 2001 and Beyond / March 2001



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