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Pittsburgh Hotels Acheive Highest Occupancy Rates in a Decade
Closing Out 2011 at 68.2%

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 22, 2012--Pittsburgh hotels hit their highest occupancy rate in more than a decade last year, according to tourism agency VisitPittsburgh.

At its annual meeting today, the agency said the overall occupancy rate for Pittsburgh hotels was 68.2 percent, which was far higher than the national average of 60 percent and best among the city's competitors. It marked the first time in more than 10 years that occupancy has been so high.

"These are impressive numbers," said Craig Davis, VisitPittsburgh's new chief executive and president. "And, we are proud of our strategic approach to marketing and advertising that assisted in these very positive returns."

The agency also said that it had booked 538 meetings and conventions for 2011 and beyond, compared to 472 meetings and conventions booked in 2010. That correlates into an estimated $229 million in direct spending and 202 usage days at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

At the meeting, Mr. Davis was introduced as the new chief executive and president, taking the reins from Joe McGrath, who held the titles for 22 years. Mr. McGrath will serve in a new role as executive chairman, focusing on state, national and international tourism issues.

Mr. Davis has been with VisitPittsburgh for 11 years, serving as vice president of sales and marketing and executive director of convention sales.

Mark Belko: or 412-263-1262.


(c)2012 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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