September 13, 2018
Gov. Haslam, TN Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett and Musician’s Hall of Fame Director Joe Chambers gathered to celebrate the continued success of the Tennessee tourism industry by announcing the 2017 economic impact numbers at Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum.
Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Triplett announced Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached a new all-time record high of $20.7 billion in 2017, up 6.3 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. Tourism also generated 184,300 jobs for Tennesseans, a 3.1 percent growth year over year.
DeKalb County experienced a 6.7% increase in tourism dollars for a total of $48.02 million – up from the previous year’s total of $44.99 million. Chamber Director Suzanne Williams had lots to celebrate when she heard the newest tourism numbers as well as receiving the news of a new grant to be used for a Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree Billboard on I-40 and the Smithville Jamboree being included in Phase 1 of the new TDTD Tennessee Music Pathways initiative. “The economic impact of tourism on DeKalb County is huge. We are so fortunate to have Center Hill Lake, Edgar Evins State Park, Appalachian Center for Craft, and our many diverse businesses that fuel our tourism revenues 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 keep our visitors coming back year after year,” says Williams.
“Counties, cities and rural communities work hard to make our state a premier destination, welcoming visitors from around the world,” Haslam said. “Our state’s second biggest industry continues to see outstanding growth, break visitation records, boost Tennessee’s economy and create new jobs. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Tourism Committee continue to produce record results that fuel our state’s economy.”
“The authenticity and Southern hospitality from our communities and partners gives visitors an unbeatable experience and inspires them to return,” Commissioner Kevin Triplett said.
Tennessee is among the Top 10 travel destinations in the nation for the 4th consecutive year. Tennessee is also considered a top retirement destination.
Suzanne Williams will be attending the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association’s Governor’s Conference in September in Kingsport where county-by-county snapshots will be shared.