Tourists spent more than $19 billion in Tennessee last year

Photo: Getty Images

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A record-breaking year proves tourists continue to flock to the Volunteer state.

On Tuesday, Governor Bill Haslam and the Department of Tourist Development announced visitors to the state spent more than $19 billion in 2016, a 4.7 percent increase from the previous year.

“More people from around the world continue to visit Tennessee each year,” Governor Haslam said. “The $1.7 billion in sales tax revenue and job growth are good news for everyone in Tennessee.The hard work of the tourism industry, led by the Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Tourism Committee, continues to produce record results and dedication to boost Tennessee’s economy.”

Governor Bill Haslam said in a statement that tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue for the 11th consecutive year in 2015, reaching $1.7 billion. That marks a 7 percent increase from 2015.

Haslam also said tourism generated 176,500 jobs in the state in 2016, a 3 percent increase from 2015.

Five counties exceeded $1 billion in travel expenditures last year. They were Davidson, Shelby, Sevier, Hamilton and Knox.