‘We haven’t seen a downturn yet’: TN tourism industry booming despite rising inflation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As inflation and gas prices rise, some Americans are reconsidering their summer travel plans. So what does this mean for Tennessee tourism?
State tourism experts say the high prices aren’t stopping shoppers.
“So far, we haven’t really seen any impact from the inflationary numbers,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Last week, about 80,000 people traveled to Nashville from all 50 states and 39 countries for CMA Fest.
Statewide tourism leaders also don’t think rising costs are keeping people from traveling to other parts of Tennessee.
“While there are concerns about inflation and the economy, we believe Tennessee is well positioned to weather these challenges. Americans are ready to travel, there is pent-up demand,” Mark Ezell said. , Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development.
According to Brian Wagner, assistant commissioner of marketing for the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, tourism tax collections increased 9.7% in 2021, despite COVID-19 restrictions.
This is likely due to the state’s various outdoor attractions, including the Great Smoky Mountains, 56 state parks, and Dollywood.
“Tennessee is geographically blessed. It’s about a day’s drive from 75% of the population of the United States. So what we see is people still getting in the car and driving off, and luckily Tennessee might be a shorter trip than, say, going to a national park to the west,” Wagner said. .
Spyridon says other free attractions, like the 4th of July fireworks and 365-day-a-year live music on Lower Broadway in Nashville, can also help families keep summer vacation costs down in the state. voluntary. “We haven’t seen a downturn yet,” Spyridon said. “But we will always keep a watchful eye to see if anything changes.”
According to the State Department of Tourism Development, Tennessee is on track to post another record tourism year in 2022.
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