County tourism agency an economic driver, study says

Rick Shrum

There is a lot to see and do in Washington County, and its Tourism Promotion Agency is efficiently showing it off.

That’s the conclusion of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, whose 2018 report titled “2018 Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism in Pennsylvania” placed the county second in the Greater Pittsburgh Region in three significant tourism impact categories: Traveler Spending, Travel Industry Employment and Overall Travel Industry Impacts.

Increases in individual categories such as Lodging, Food & Beverage, Shopping and Recreation also were noted.

Direct traveler spending in the county, according to the report, was about $737.3 million in 2018, a 4.8% increase from $703.7 million in 2017. The report also said Washington County’s tourism industry employed 6,000 in 2018 and generated $204.1 million in labor income, both increases from the previous year.

Washington County, as a result, ranked second highest – behind Allegheny County – in traveler spending, tourism employment and overall travel impacts among the eight counties in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Washington’s travel industry sparked nearly $44.4 million in state and local tax revenue.

To access the complete study, visit