Stats: Nashville Drew Record 13.9 Million Visitors in 2016

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 has announced. 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.

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.

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.