VisitPITTSBURGH Sees 2013 Uptick in Meetings; Vancouver CC Expansion Celebrates Five Years

April 8, 2014

Both Pittsburgh and Vancouver, B.C., have reasons to celebrate recently, with the Pennsylvania city’s convention and visitors bureau posting positive results for last year overall and the Canadian West Coast city’s main venue touting successes as well.


VisitPITTSBURGH unveiled at its April 3 annual meeting that the travel and tourism industry in Allegheny County generated $5.5 billion in spending, supports 39,000 jobs and creates nearly $340 million in tax revenues.


Craig Davis, the bureau’s president and CEO, said that the VisitPITTSBURGH convention sales team booked 590 meetings and conventions for 2013 and beyond, compared with 576 meetings and conventions booked in 2012.


The team sold 252,249 room nights for 2013 and future years, and 2013 bookings represent an anticipated direct spending totaling $201 million.


“Tourism really does build community,” Davis said. “In practical terms, visitors bring dollars. They spend money in our hotels, restaurants, shops, cultural attractions and more. And they bring validation, too. We must be doing something very right to draw more visitors than our competitors.” 


Here are a few of the conventions, groups and events booked by VisitPITTSBURGH in 2013:


·         Anthrocon’s 2016 Annual Convention (6,365 room nights; $6.3 million in estimated direct spending)


·         USA Gymnastics 2014 National Congress & Trade Show and P&G Gymnastics Championships (6,457 room nights; $5 million)


·         The Steelworkers’ 2015 USW Joint Safety and Health Conference (5,385 room nights; $2.5 million)


·         Collinson Media & Events’ 2015 Connect Marketplace and Connect Sports Marketplace (5,660 room nights; $1.8 million)


Also last year, VisitPITTSBURGH launched a rebranding initiative that included a new tagline and logo.


“We embraced our history and recognized the transformation that has occurred in Pittsburgh with the new tagline: ‘Pittsburgh. Mighty. Beautiful.,’” Davis said.  


Going forward, the new brand will be incorporated into VisitPITTSBURGH’s marketing programs, advertisements, publications and more, according to bureau officials.


The Vancouver Convention Centre recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of the expansion on the building, which tripled its size.


Since opening the West building April 3, 2009, the center has hosted nearly 2,750 events, welcomed more than 2.6 million guests from around the world and generated$1 billion-plus in direct spending for the province.


“The world needs great gathering places and Vancouver is one of them – and the lynchpin in that reputation is the Vancouver Convention Centre,” said Rick Antonson, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver.


He added, “As residents, we enjoy seeing delegates from around the globe walking our streets, dining in our award-winning restaurants and playing in our scenic outdoors. Science, medical research, the environment – leading minds meet here because Vancouver provides the best setting for inspiration and innovation, anchored by the Vancouver Convention Centre.”


The VCC spans 1.1 million square feet and has two connected buildings that offer a combined 466,500 sq. ft. of flexible of pre-function, meeting, exhibition and ballroom space.


Here's a great infographic telling VCC's 5-year expansion story:

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