Strategy: Industry



Among key business issues facing tourism destinations in recent years is the limited supply of a skilled and trained hospitality workforce. Over the last 10 years, Allegheny County lost 11% of its tourism employment- more than double the loss in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This trend is projected to continue over the next 10 years with the region’s tourism employment expected to decrease by 7% while the Commonwealth and the nation are expected to see 8% and 17% increases, respectively.

The decline in labor is largely attributable to a sizable share of outbound migration of labor to areas like Westmoreland County, Washington County, and Butler County. Without concerted efforts to retain, enhance, and grow the tourism and hospitality workforce in Allegheny County, the destination will risk losing the supply of tourism assets and businesses that drive the visitor economy.



The consumer-facing business ecosystem in Pittsburgh is critical to a visitor’s experience of the destination. For any visitor trip, travelers are bound to spend money at local retailers, restaurants, and various other businesses. Today, however, the consumer purchasing journey begins long before a visitors’ arrival at a destination. In fact, many travelers are researching places to eat or shop before making travel decisions so it is critical that Pittsburgh’s small and local business environment is rapidly evolving to keep up with consumer trends and preferences in order to remain relevant and attractive to visitors.



The ability to implement the projects outlined in this plan is directly related to the capacity of VisitPITTSBURGH and various other partner organizations that have the staff, expertise, and resources to advance strategies toward implementation. The following strategies are focused on building internal capacity and plan oversight at VisitPITTSBURGH and providing training and expertise to local leaders who ultimately serve as managers and ambassadors of the destination.