Tourism in Rutherford County, Tennessee hit an all-time high in 2019 with $385 million in travel expenditures, according to recently released numbers from the U.S. Travel Association. While the pandemic is threatening the travel industry, this report reinforces the importance of tourism to the local economy.
"Tourism is an important part of our county's formula for success," said Destination Rutherford Chairman Bill Jones. "It's vital we find ways to support our travel partners during this troubling time; our economy depends on it."
According to figures from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the U.S. Travel Association, Rutherford County saw an increase of 4.8% in tourist spending from 2018 to 2019. The increase of $367.6 million to $385.2 million placed Rutherford County in the top 10 counties across the state for travel-related expenditures. It generated 2,870 jobs, produced over $70 million in payroll and created $8 million in local tax revenue.
The money that tourists spend in Rutherford County on restaurants, hotels, retail stores, entertainment venues and transportation actually saves local residents money – to the tune of $289 in taxes per household.
"The Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to exceed expectations and accommodate visitors from around the world," said Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau Chair Travis Emore. "While tourism has certainly slowed, travelers still depend on Rutherford County to deliver an affordable, safe destination."