NASHVILLE- Tennessee had 119 million domestic visitors in 2018, an increase of 5.1 percent from 113 million than 2017 and hit a record-high $22 billion in domestic and international travel spending. Travelers in Tennessee spend an estimated $60 million per day. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Mark Ezell made the announcement at the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tennessee’s growth is outpacing the nation in all areas of travel; including tax revenue, expenditures, payroll and employment.
Tennessee Tourism generated over $50 million in new state and local tax dollars in 2018, approximately $25 million of which supports public education. The report’s findings also show tourism’s value to Tennessee taxpayers. Toursim travel in Tennessee generated 189,757 jobs and $1.81 billion in state and local tax revenue. Without tourism, each Tennessee household would have to pay an additional $712 in taxes each year. Those tax dollars support education, health and human services, public safety, business and economic development.
In 2018, Tennessee ranked number 3, after Pennsylvania and Colorado, for international spending growth over 2017, according to Tourism Economics. International spending growth in Tennessee is 7 times the national average.
The Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corporation declared 2019 as the year with the most tourists in town with a total of 16.1 million visitors in the past year, breaking previous records.
With events like NYE, 4th of July, and especially the NFL Draft in April, these numbers have skyrocketed.
2019 Tourism Stats, provided by NCVC:
Nashville sold about the same number of hotel rooms last year as Tampa and Philadelphia, and more than New Orleans, San Antonio, Charleston and Austin.
The number of hotel rooms in Nashville has grown to 33,200, compared to 30,600 last year.
There are 5,030 hotel rooms under construction with another 9,614 that are in the stages of final planning/planning/prospect with a total of 14,644 rooms in the pipeline.
17 new properties with 3,455 rooms are scheduled to open in 2020, including three properties with 446 rooms that have already opened this year. 18 new hotel properties opened in 2019; 15 properties opened in 2018 with nine in 2017 and five in 2016.
112 new restaurants/bars/cafes opened in 2019, the third year in a row to exceed 100 openings. Already, 109 have been announced and are expected to open in 2020.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) is one of the fastest growing airports in North America. It served nearly 18.3 million passengers in 2019 on 14 airlines with 540 total daily flights to 75 nonstop destinations.