The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development joins tourism industry partners to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week May 6-12 by marking another year of record-setting growth for the state’s $19.3 billion tourism industry.
According to the latest research from DK SHIFFLET, Tennessee experienced 113.6 million person stays in 2017, an increase of 3.3 percent over 2016. Tennessee places among the Top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year and is considered to be a top retirement destination.
To celebrate the week, the state’s 15 welcome centers hold tourism showcases, with industry representatives meeting and greeting visitors with Tennessee hospitality, Made in Tennessee product samples, promotional items and opportunities to win prizes. Staff with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and tourism industry partners will also offer guests free windshield washing to help them “See Tennessee More Clearly.” Tennessee Tourism will also hand out branded, Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee air fresheners shaped like records.
Statewide, local visitor bureaus and independent travel organizations celebrate the week with parades and special awards luncheons, to shine a spotlight on Tennessee’s $19.3 billion tourism industry and inspire travel. The theme of this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week, “Travel, Then and Now,” gives the industry a chance to reflect on past successes, while advocating for policies to promote future growth. Industry leaders also shared old photos of landmarks, neighborhoods, streets, major events, festivals and attractions on social media using #TBTravel. Destinations in all 95 Tennessee counties have a unique story to tell.
“Visitors to Tennessee experience world-class food, history and culture and our scenic beauty and outdoors,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “The thread through it all is our music. Music is the universal language and ties our memories together. The soundtrack of their trip, the Soundtrack of America, is made in Tennessee.”
In 2016, Americans left 662 million vacation days unused, with 54 percent of the nation’s workers forfeiting some of their vacation time, according to a study released last year by Project: Time Off. Nearly one-third of workers were not able to roll vacation time into the next year or receive other compensation for their time. On average last year, employees effectively donated an average of $604 in work time to their employer.
“One of the most enjoyable things about the satisfaction derived from working hard is the pleasure of recharging our batteries that comes after a mission is accomplished or a project is complete,” said Triplett. “Tourism is Tennessee’s second-largest industry. It is an honor and a role we take very seriously to assist our visitors in finding pleasure in taking the leisure time earned for a job well done.”
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s website, tnvacation.com provides inspiration at your fingertips on the state's attractions, music, food, history, experiences, family trips and scenic beauty to inspire you to start planning your vacation.
This year’s celebration marks the 35th anniversary of the 1983 congressional resolution that established NTTW. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being. U.S. Travel released this video celebrating the beauty of the U.S.A. and ensuring travel continues to benefit generations to come.
For more information, contact Jill Kilgore, public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-927-1320 or by email at Jill.Kilgore@tn.gov.