Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers In DeKalb County

September 5, 2022

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce DeKalb County’s tourism numbers show a 30% increase from the previous year.

“We are beyond excited to receive this great news from the State of Tennessee,” said Chamber Director Suzanne Williams. ” The economic impact of tourism on DeKalb County is huge. It shows tourism activity, including indirect and induced impacts, supported $51.2 million in business sales in DeKalb County. Visitors directly generated $2.5 Million in state and local taxes, which is equivalent to $322 in tax savings for every DeKalb County household,” she said.

“A 30% increase is rare for any county,” Williams continued. “We are so blessed to have Center Hill Lake, Edgar Evins State Park, Appalachian Center for Craft, Caney Fork River, Harmony Lane Farm, Evins Mill, The Retreat at Center Hill Lake, RiverWatch and Smithville Golf Courses, The Burlap Room, The Harvester, 9 commercial marinas, restaurants, shops, nurseries, and all kinds of watercraft rentals. All the many diverse businesses that fuel our tourism revenues made this happen including our annual events such as the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, DeKalb County Fair, Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, and other local music and art events. Our small-town charm, friendly people, and scenic beauty make DeKalb County a desirable place to live, work, play, and raise a family and all these factors attract new visitors and keep many visitors coming back year after year,” she said.

Key Highlights from 2021 DeKalb County Travel and Tourism Report:
• $32.Million Direct Spending in DeKalb County
• $51.2 Million Total Business Sales in DeKalb County
• 343 Number of Tourism Jobs in DeKalb County
• $6.77 Million Direct Labor Income in DeKalb County
• $1.40 Million State Sales Tax paid by overnight tourists to the State
• $1.10 Million Local Taxes paid by overnight tourists to DeKalb County
• $322 Tax Relief per household in DeKalb County due to tourism

According to the report, on an average day in DeKalb County, visitor spending generated:
• $87,672 in daily expenditures
• $18,541 in daily labor income
• $3,842 in daily state taxes
• $3,015 in daily local taxes

DeKalb County continues to have the third highest tourism dollars in the Upper Cumberland region. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Mark Ezell announced that Tennessee tourism generated $24.2 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2021, according to recently released economic impact data from U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics. It also marks the largest visitor spending nationally in Tennessee’s history. Travelers in Tennessee spend an estimated $66 million per day. Travel in Tennessee generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. Travel and tourism is also the third largest employer in the state.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development works with the Tennessee Tourism Committee, local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, city and county leaders, tourism attractions and the hospitality industry in all 95 counties to inspire travel to the state.

WJLE Radio