Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett kicks of Pittsburgh's "Best of the World" campaign at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett joined dozens of community leaders this morning at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to celebrate Pittsburgh’s designation as a “Best of the World” place to visit in 2012 by National Geographic Traveler magazine. The Governor; Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Greg Babe, vice chair of the Allegheny Conference; and Doris Carson-Williams, chair of VisitPittsburgh announced the formation of the “Best of the World Pittsburgh Partnership,” an initiative to spread the word about the world-class lineup of premieres, openings, conferences and conventions taking place in our region this year.

To hear what Governor Corbett has to say about the initiative, see the video below.

The kick-off coincides with the U.S. premiere tonight of A Streetcar Named Desire by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. It is the first staging in this country outside New York and San Francisco of a work by John Neumeier, director of The Hamburg Ballet. It also comes on the eve of Governor Corbett’s first international business mission as governor. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and VisitPittsburgh will be traveling with him to encourage, respectively, business investment and tourism in our region.

Beyond spreading the word globally, the “Best of the World” initiative is targeting visitors to our region. Pittsburgh is hosting several national and international conferences this year that will bring thousands of young and diverse people here, including the National Society of Black Engineers at the end of this month, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May, and the One Young World Summit in October. We plan to greet these visitors with signage in the convention center, at the airport and even on the plane, through an in-flight video that will air on Delta throughout May, and a special Pittsburgh supplement that will run worldwide in the June issue of Delta’s in-flight magazine, Sky. The goal is to get a least a few of the people exposed to these message to consider returning here to go to college, look for a job or invest in a business.

In addition to these conferences, Allegheny County is hosting the National Association of Counties this summer, which will bring to Pittsburgh more than 3,000 officials from counties across the country. It’s yet another opportunity to position our region as a thought-leader in the area of public-private partnership and an emerging center of innovation in industry and public policy.

Please help us spread the word about why the Pittsburgh region truly is among the best of the world. You can link to our community splash page from your own website and if you’d like a banner ad or bug to use on marketing collateral, please contact sgaal AT alleghenyconference DOT org.