Record Number 13.9 Million Visitors Came to Nashville in 2016
  • January 26, 2017
  • New Year’s Eve Saw Record Number of Hotel Rooms Sold

    NASHVILLE, TN – A record 13.9 million visitors came to the Nashville area in 2016, an increase over the previous record of 13.5 million set in 2015, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today. Last year also was the best year in Music City for the number of hotel rooms sold and hotel taxes collected as Nashville continued its streak of record tourism growth.

    “America’s friendliest city continues to be a destination for travelers the world over who want to enjoy a unique experience in a warm and welcoming environment,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “Nashville’s investments in our tourist industry continue to pay off in ways that create jobs, grow our economy and generate tax revenue that’s used to improve the quality of life for all residents. Thank you to the nearly 60,000 hospitality industry employees who work hard every day to make Nashville’s visitors feel at home.”

    Annual visitation has increased 45 percent over the past 10 years, with the number of visitors in 2006 of 9.6 million growing to last year’s 13.9 million. Nashville has been on an unprecedented streak of 70 months of record numbers of hotel rooms sold and hotel taxes collected since December, 2010. The streak in rooms sold ended in September, 2016.

    Last year was a record year for the number of hotel rooms sold at 7.307 million rooms, up from 7.067 million in 2015. Hotel tax collections in 2016 also will be the most ever at an estimated $61.1 million. Final numbers won’t be available until mid-February.

    Nashville continues to be listed as among the world’s top destinations for 2017:

    • One of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2017” by Travel + Leisure.
    • “Where to Go in 2017” by AFAR.
    • “Best Places to Go in 2017,” according to Frommer’s Travel Guide.
    • One of “8 Essential Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List” in 2017 by the New York Post.
    • “Hottest Vacation Destinations” of 2017 by The Daily Beast.

    The NCVC also announced that a record number of hotel rooms were sold on New Year’s Eve at 24,558, compared to 24,346 in 2015. As previously announced, an estimated 100,000 attended the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville event that the NCVC produces for the city of Nashville.

    “Selling out virtually every hotel room in the city reflects the strength of Nashville as a top destination for New Year’s Eve,” said Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, NCVC board chair and managing partner and president of DVL Seigenthaler. “While offering attendees a diverse lineup of great live music, including superstar Keith Urban, we also generated positive global media attention and enormous economic activity for the city.”

    Music City Midnight, which took place for the first time at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, brought in $17.2 million in direct visitor spending, a drop from the record $22.2 million generated in 2015. The lower figure was anticipated given that the 2016 estimate only represented event activity. Last year’s estimate represented combined event and retail activity on Lower Broadway, where the event was previously held.