The 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:
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.