Clarksville, TN – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett today announced Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time high of $18.4 billion in 2015, up 3.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. Numbers for Montgomery County increased to $205.1 million, up 1.3% over 2014.
For the 8th consecutive year, Montgomery County has ranked 11th in Tennessee for tourism spending with the 10th ranked county, Washington, at $247 million.
“We look forward to receiving this report every year,” says Visit Clarksville Chairman Louisa Cooke. “All of our staff works hard all year long on dozens of events that attract overnight visitors, so it’s always nice to see the sum of those efforts -- the economic result that tourism has on the local economy.”
Tourism related payroll in Montogmery topped $32.8 million, with more than 1,500 workers employed locally in the travel and tourism sector. Total sales tax generated from visitor spending in the county increased to $12.8 million, while the local portion of the tax receipts hit just under $4 million.
“Evidence of the tourism impact is most meaningful at the local level,” says Cooke. “Knowing that all of our work means $4 million to local tax couffers is a big deal. What government services would we, the residents, have to do without if that $4 million went away? Or, what level of tax increase would it take to make up that difference if we didn’t have a CVB working to bring in these dollars every year?”
Five counties in the state exceeded $1 billion in direct travel expenditures. All 95 counties exceeded $1 million; 19 counties saw more than $100 million each.
“We would love nothing more than to move up to the Number 10 spot,” acknowledges Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “We would have to bring in more than $30 million more to move up one spot – which is a pretty big jump from where we are into the top 10. Build a convention center and we’ll get it done,” she quips.
Some of the top local events for the 2015 year include:
- AAU Boys Basketball 10U National Championships, 3,530 visitors, $1.29 million in spending
- 3v3 Live Soccer, 2,888 visitors, $521,000 in spending
- MS Soccer Club Tournament, 6,405 visitors, $1.02 million in spending
In addition to a multitude of sports events, motorcoach business and local events, like RiverFest and OktoberFest, are also significant contributors to the county’s tourism revenue.
About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influences tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions, group tours and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by nine board of director members who are selected jointly by the City of Clarksville and Montgomery County Mayors and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.