This week is National Travel and Tourism Week — an annual celebration of the contributions of the country’s travel industry.
Tourism is Tennessee’s second largest industry. In 2019, tourism brought in a record-high amount of $23 billion in travel spending + $1.92 billion in state and local revenue tax, which supports jobs, economic development and critical services like education and public safety. But, the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the industry in early 2020.
COVID-19’s impact on tourism
While January + February of 2020 saw considerable growth in the tourism industry, March brought devastation to industry leaders, workers + travelers. Between March + December, $303 million in state revenue was lost and 52.6% of the net jobs lost during March were among the leisure and hospitality industry.
Nashville’s projected data for 2021
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development + local partners are teaming up to recognize the “Power of Travel” and the industry’s critical role in rebuilding the state’s workforce, restoring its businesses, and accelerating its economy. Here is projected data — by the numbers — that leaders hope will promote these goals in 2021 + beyond:
- Two-thirds. The amount of U.S. citizens ready to travel — according to a study by Destination Analysts.
- 27. Nashville’s ranking among the most-desired domestic destinations in 2021 — and 72% of U.S. travelers are planning a summer vacation this year.
- 200%. The increase of travelers seen at Nashville International Airport during the month of April.
- 22+. The number of new Nashville restaurants that have opened so far in 2021.