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Economic Impact - Press Release

Tennessee Tourism Outperformed the Nation in 2020 with $16.8 Billion in Visitor Spending Despite COVID-19

Tourism Initiatives Focus on Continued Economic Recovery


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 6, 2021 - Tennessee tourism generated $16.8 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2020, a 31.6 percent decline from the previous year according to newly-released economic impact data from U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics. Travel in Tennessee generated nearly 150,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue. Despite the impact of COVID-19, efforts to promote outdoor travel opportunities helped Tennessee outperform the national average decline of 42 percent.


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


“Tourism is a vital part of our state’s strong economic recovery,” said Gov. Lee. “By working together to support small businesses and drive job growth, we will ensure Tennessee continues to be one of the top travel destinations in the world.”


“Tennessee’s scenic beauty, strong outdoor assets and compelling rural and road trip destinations gave it an edge against other states,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Department of Tourist Development. “We’ve seen parts of our state not only survive, but also thrive. Our mission as a department is to inspire travel to all 95 counties, and we are committed to restoring economic prosperity for our industry.”






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