Volunteer State Focuses On The Positive
Published Aug. 26
There’s always something to be said for having a positive attitude and the Volunteer State has had one ever since sending all those soldiers to the Alamo.
In the face of the worse pandemic in 100 years resulting in a complete faceplant for the travel industry, Tennessee Tourism has put out a press release touting its 2019 number of record visitors.
The release used recently-released numbers from U.S. Travel Association that showed tourism in Tennessee hit a record-high $23 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2019, marking a decade of consecutive growth. Tennessee also saw 126 million domestic person stays in 2019, up 5.7 percent from 119 million the previous year. Tennessee tourism was on a record track in the first three months of 2020 before COVID-19.
In 2019, Tennessee outpaced the nation in all areas of travel; including tax revenue, expenditures, payroll and employment. The leisure and hospitality industry produced more jobs than any other industry. Last year, travelers in Tennessee spent an estimated $64 million per day. Tourism generated over $75 million in new state and local tax dollars in 2019.
“Tennessee is a world-renowned destination, and I look forward to the time when we can gather together again at our festivals, sporting events and more,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “Tourism is our state’s second largest industry. Coming off another record year, this data underscores the tremendous positive tourism impact on our state’s revenue. As we’ve seen now more than ever, travel and tourism are vital to restoring economic health and recovery in Tennessee.”
Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development said, with our businesses taking the Tennessee Pledge, our restaurants, businesses and attractions are ready for safe travel,
“I encourage travelers to safely explore, support local businesses and attractions, create family memories, discover outdoor scenic beauty where social distancing is a natural, take road trips, explore rural destinations and hidden gems that drive visitation. Our goal is to become the best non-beach tourism state in America. We’re constantly exploring new opportunities to inspire growth across the state, drive jobs and economic growth, including in rural, at-risk and distressed counties.”
There is certainly a lot to explore in Tennessee, from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and and nearly 20 craft breweries in the eastern part of the state to all the cool honky tonks and country music in and around Nashville to Graceland and Elvis in Memphis.