Nashville Area Sees Record 14.5 Million Visitors in 2017

January 26, 2018

honkeyTonkGuitar-400The Nashville area saw a record 14.5 million visitors in 2017, a 4.6 percent increase from 2016’s record 13.9 million visitors, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced. The growth is attributed to an uptick in leisure travelers and a stronger than expected second half of the year, which included the solar eclipse in August, seven Garth Brooks concerts in December and a fall calendar filled with weekend events, festivals and football games.

In 2017, CVENT ranked Nashville seventh among the Top 50 meeting destinations in the United States, and several travel outlets, including Frommers, named Music City a top place to visit.

Last year, nine new hotel properties opened, including 21c Museum Hotel, Kimpton Aertson, Noelle and Holston House. Also, 113 bars and restaurants opened in the city, along with attractions, including the Patsy Cline Museum, Madame Tussauds Nashville and Topgolf.

This year is showing signs of strong visitation and will likely top the 2017 figure. Already, more than a dozen outlets, including Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler U.K. and TripAdvisor, have named Nashville a top place to go in 2018. Other factors expected to fuel visitor growth in 2018 include:

  • A total of 15 new hotel properties are scheduled to open (2,800 rooms).
  • 107 restaurants and bars have announced they will open, in addition to the eight that already opened since the start of the year.
  • British Airways’ nonstop flight to London begins May 4.
  • 17 citywide conventions — which are the largest of conventions — using three or more hotels and on their biggest nights book more than 1,500 rooms (2017 had 10 such citywide conventions).
  • Strong concert schedule, including The Eagles, Justin Timberlake, U2, Keith Urban, Def Leppard/Journey and Taylor Swift.
  • New attractions that have opened or will open, including Whiskey Row, Ole Red, Merle Haggard Museum, SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland, Nashville Shores’ Aqua Park, Pins Mechanical Co. and a new Tennessee State Museum.

Nashville’s strength as a destination continues to be reflected in record growth in the number of hotel rooms sold year over year. As of December, Nashville had seen growth in rooms sold in 82 out of the last 85 months.

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