Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Initiative Launches to Tout Pittsburgh's Must-See Status

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Initiative Launches to Tout Pittsburgh's Must-See Status

Article excerpt

Jaded lifelong Pittsburghers may downplay the notion of the region as one of the best in the world, but state and local officials are planning to spread word of the city's National Geographic designation and its economic and social growth across the globe.

"We have a little chip on our shoulder, but we need to understand that we have a lot to be proud of. Obviously people from outside understand that," said Republican Gov. Tom Corbett during Friday's Best of the World Pittsburgh Partnership kickoff event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

The governor, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and several local business leaders gathered to announce the initiative, which is designed to promote tourism and economic investment by highlighting Pittsburgh's place on National Geographic Traveler's 2012 list of the world's top 20 must-see places to visit.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who had planned to tout the initiative in Boston Friday but was tied up fielding questions surrounding Thursday's mass shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC in Oakland, delivered supportive remarks through a video address.

Pittsburgh International Airport will add new signs promoting the campaign, while in May in-flight promotional videos with a "Best of the World" theme will be shown on Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways flights. In June, Delta's magazine Sky will produce a special supplement on the region.

Additionally, a $250,000 pledge from VisitPittsburgh will support international trade missions to France and Germany, where Mr. Corbett will meet with several companies to discuss ways to increase business within the state and region. The Allegheny Conference on Community Development has pledged to match the $250,000 commitment with cash and in-kind support.

Mr. Fitzgerald said a year full of events -- such as the National Society of Black Engineers Annual Convention, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the 2012 One Young World Summit and the upcoming NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament -- are opportunities to sell the region to hundreds of thousands of students and young professionals. …

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