Post G-20 Summit, Pittsburgh Hatches Destination Marketing Plans

The City of Pittsburgh, Pa., which last week hosted hundreds of world leaders, international delegates and reporters as part of the G-20 Summit, is planning to use the global political event to market itself as a destination for international travelers and tourists, according to local media reports.

"We may never see anything like this again," Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, wrote last week in a letter that was posted on the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership Web site. "And, for many of our neighbors that may be just fine. But doors have been opened as a result of what just happened here. It's up to all of us to make the most of the opportunity that President Obama has presented to Pittsburgh."

Held Sept. 24 and 25 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center—the world's first and largest LEED Gold-certified convention center—the G-20 Summit will have lasting benefits for Pittsburgh, according to Flanagan and local tourism officials, who plan to highlight the summit in future marketing campaigns aimed at attracting leisure travelers as well as meetings.

"We'll do a campaign after [the summit]," Craig T. Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for VisitPittsburgh, Pittsburgh's CVB, told local business journal Pittsburgh Business Times last week. "If Pittsburgh is good enough for leaders, it's good enough for your next convention."

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl agrees, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which reported last week that the mayor appeared on at least 20 different foreign media outlets "telling Pittsburgh's story."

"This is a great opportunity for Pittsburgh to showcase itself," Ravenstahl told an Associated Press International television crew in one interview, according to the Post-Gazette. "The opportunity we have is to introduce—to reintroduce—Pittsburgh to the world [...] If you are looking for a North American city, Pittsburgh makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons."