National Geographic Traveller just released its Cool List for 2019, and Pittsburgh was the only U.S. destination featured, ranking No. 3 overall on a list of 19 must-see international locations.
Other top destinations included Setouchi, Japan — the site of the 2019 Rugby World Cup — and Antarctica, which at least has one thing in common with Pittsburgh.
You guessed it. Penguins.
And even though our illustrious hockey team wasn’t mentioned, National Geographic highlighted numerous other reasons for visiting the city.
In noting the launch of new nonstop service between Pittsburgh International Airport and London Heathrow, the UK-based magazine writes that Pittsburgh is an “underrated Pennsylvanian city” that will be much easier to visit with the British Airways flight beginning April 2, 2019.
After a 20-year absence, the airline decided to resume service between the two cities, based on the Pittsburgh region’s growth in recent years.
“Having a nonstop flight from London helps put Pittsburgh on the map for both business and leisure travelers who are thinking of their upcoming trip abroad or who are looking for their next city to invest in,” said Bryan Dietz, Vice President of Air Service Development at PIT. “The new nonstop route will further transform Pittsburgh with travelers who now have an easier and faster way of getting to our city.”
Additionally, the magazine describes Pittsburgh as “much more elegant than many visitors might expect,” highlighting the city’s many arts and culture venues including the Heinz History Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Warhol Museum.
With national and international recognition for its livability, affordability, emerging technology sector and hip neighborhoods, Pittsburgh is becoming an international tourist destination, said Tom Loftus, Chief Marketing Officer for VisitPITTSBURGH.
“Visitors are coming because of our arts and culture, professional sports, outdoor amenities and unique American vibe,” said Loftus, who lauded the hard work of local public officials, businesses, universities and others to make it happen.
“This designation from National Geographic affirms what we have long known, and what people around the world are discovering about our city and region — that Pittsburgh is a must-see ‘cool’ destination alongside the likes of Hong Kong (No. 8), Zimbabwe (No. 9) and Oslo (No. 11).”