The Washington Convention and Visitor Association boasts that 1984 was a banner year for area travel and tourism businesses.

The group's annual report, which was compiled by WCVA with the help of the U.S. Travel Data Center, the National Tour Association and the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., contains detailed figures on area convention sales, hotel room rentals and other industry data.

The travel and tourism industry in Washington ranks second only to the federal government in terms of employment and income generated for the city, according to figures in the new report. The report estimates that tourism accounts for more than $1 billion annually in city revenue and sustains more than 45,000 jobs in the Washington area.

WCVA findings show that the national convention business at the 2-year-old Washington Convention Center almost tripled from 1983 to 1984, from nine national conventions in 1983 to 26 national conventions in 1984. The money spent during that time on hotels and conventions by out-of-town visitors was up 23.5 percent for the year to $629.6 million.

According to the report, in 1984 more than 17.2 million people visited the nation's capital. The report notes that because of the success of the convention center and the recent redevelopment of the downtown area, the city has more than 40,000 hotel rooms. Over the past six years, 34 new hotels have opened in the metropolitan area.

WCVA, a nonprofit association, was established in 1931 by area business leaders to market business and vacation traveling in the Washington area. Currently, its 750 member companies are represented through convention sales, membership development and tourism marketing departments employing a total of 25 people..

WCVA's six-member convention sales department contacts meeting planners and association directors worldwide to promote Washington convention and trade show facilities.

WCVA's computerized housing/registration service books meetings and rooms for area hotels and was responsible for generating 293,700 room nights at area hotels last year.

The membership development department last year brought 168 new members to WCVA, generating more than $102,000 in new dues revenue for the association, a department spokesman said.

The tourism marketing department opened the Washington Tourist Information Center two years ago to assist visitors to the area. The center, located in the U.S. Department of Commerce Building at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, offers free travel brochures published by the association, maps and literature about Washington. The department also represents Washington in travel trade shows across the country and sponsors tours to familiarize international tour operators and travel agents with the area. TRADE

Nine independent producers of stainless steel wire have joined the American Wire Producers Association in an effort to increase their visibility before Congress and other government agencies. The group will be represented as a separate industry within AWPA, which has grown from 23 member companies to 80 over the past two years, and will continue its efforts to track shipments and report on import penetration into the stainless steel market in the United States. The new AWPA members are: National Standard Company, Niles, Mich.; ECD Inc., Hillside, N.J.; Branford Wire & Manufacturing Co., Mountain Home, N.C.; Willing B Wire Corp., Willingboro, N.J.; Brookfield Wire, Brookfield, Mass.; Maryland Specialty Wire, Cockeysville, Md.; Northampton Manufacturing Corp., Northhampton, Mass., and Mapes Piano String Co., Elizabethton, Tenn. PROFESSIONAL

Alden Meyer has been named to replace the League of Conservation Voters' retiring founder, Marion Edey, as executive director. Meyer, currently the league's director of environmental action, said he intends "to build upon the solid foundation laid by Marion Edey by expanding the effectiveness of environmental activists and issues in elections so that we can create a more conservation-minded Congress." The league has raised more than $6 million in the past 15 years to support some 600 pro-environment congressional candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Women in Government Relations Inc. has chosen Paulette C. Pidcock as its Distinguished Member for 1985. Pidcock is the federal affairs representative for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.'s Washington office. Pidcock served as WGR president during 1982-'83 and treasurer in 1980 and 1981. During this time, she established a membership directory, upgraded the association newsletter and worked to install financial planning and investment plans for the association.

Joseph McMahon has joined the staff of the Washington Convention and Visitors Association as convention sales manager. Most recently he was director of sales and marketing for the Washington Plaza Hotel in the District.

Albert C. Otto, administrative service director for The Washington Post, has been elected director of the Newspaper Purchasing Management Association Inc. Otto joined The Post in 1971 as the supervisor of safety and security.

George Parshal, a research scientist with E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., has been installed in the National Academy of Science. He was recognized for his research in transition metal chemistry.

The Private Investigators Association of Virginia, representing licensed and registered private investigators, has elected its officers for 1985-'86: Bobby D. Pugh Sr., Professional Investigations, Burke, president; James L. Wilt, Diversified Detection Services Inc., Annandale, vice president; Walter Blackwell, Independent Investigations, Oakton, treasurer; Nicholas R. Beltrante, Beltrante & Associates, Alexandria, executive director; and Joan M. Beach, Joan M. Beach Ltd., Fairfax, Northern Chapter vice president.