Tennessee Tourism Announces Record $24 Billion in Domestic Travel Spending in 2021

WHY IT IS VALUABLE: When planning your next vacation, follow the trend and consider a visit to Tennessee.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Writer.

Tennessee tourism generated $24.2 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2021, according to economic impact data recently released by the US Travel and Tourism Economics Association. It also marks the largest visitor spending nationally in Tennessee history. Travelers in Tennessee spend about $66 million a day. The Tennessee ride generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. Travel and tourism is also the third largest employer in the state.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Tourism Development Commissioner Mark Ezell emphasized efforts to continue the industry’s strong recovery.

Trending now

“Tourism drives economic development and job creation so every Tennessean can thrive,” said Governor Lee. “Our decision to prioritize a strong recovery has delivered record levels of tourism growth, and we continue to welcome visitors to see all that Tennessee has to offer, from the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains.”

“Tennessee is crushing it with the largest share of visitors spending the national market for Tennesseans in our history,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. “Tennessee is one of the world’s top travel destinations because of our outstanding assets including our unmatched scenic beauty, diverse cities and small towns, and our world-class attractions, music, cultural and historical sites. We are so grateful to this industry and our partners and blessed visitors who come to experience these destinations and support local businesses, local restaurants and local accommodations and supportive communities.”

Highlights from the 2021 report:

— Tennessee tourism generated a record $24 billion in domestic travel spending

-Travel and tourism is the third largest employer in TN in 2021

-Tennessee travelers spend about $66 million a day. Visitor spending in Tennessee increased 44.4% year over year. Visitor spending nationally increased by 35.7%, year over year

—All 95 counties saw an increase in visitor spending during 2020

—51 counties fully recovered and exceeded record visitor spending in 2019

– Nine counties experienced more than 40% growth in travel spending year over year, including Davidson, Cheatham, Sevier, Union, Polk, Grundy, Knox, Blount and Hamilton

— Five counties experienced more than 40% growth in travel spending in 2019, including: Cheatham, Union, Lake, Hickman and Meigs

– Travel in Tennessee generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2021

—Tax revenue generated from tourism-generated travel saved each family in Tennessee $755.41 in state and local taxes last year

Highlights of the leisure and hospitality industry (source: Department of Revenue and TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development)

— Leisure and hospitality industries supported 317,000 jobs in 2021, an increase of 8% from 2020 and 91% of 2019 levels

—Leisure and hospitality revenues have rebounded to record levels and outpaced inflation

—Leisure and hospitality employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but still struggles to keep up with travel demand

—Average leisure and hospitality wages have risen as the industry competes for a limited number of workers. Leisure and hospitality wages increased to $17.71 in June 2020, compared to $14.14 in 2020.

SOURCE: Tennessee Department of Tourism Development press release.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *