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Tennessee Is the Fastest-Growing State for International Travel in the U.S.

Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 08:10am
International Visits Growth in 2017

Tennessee has seen the highest growth rate for international arrivals in the U.S., according to Tourism Economics, a leader in providing credible tourism analysis for hundreds of destinations. The findings were shared at IPW May 19-23 in Denver, Colorado.

“Tennessee experienced very strong growth in both international air arrivals and foreign credit card activity in 2017,” said Geoff Lacher, senior economist at Tourism Economics. “We estimate 11% growth in international arrivals for Tennessee, which was the highest state growth rate in the entire United States. The fast growth rates from mature, typically slow-growing markets like Australia (13%), Canada (13%), Germany (16%), and Japan (11%) are especially impressive.”

Tourism Economics data shows that international travelers spent $933.6 million in Tennessee last year. This is an increase of 38.7% over five years from 2012 to 2017. Currently, Canada is No. 1 in visitation to the Volunteer state followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Mexico and Japan.

“Every day we work to showcase the wonderful assets of Tennessee to the rest of nation and the world,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Our beauty, culture, history, food experiences, family opportunities and of course the music that makes up the Soundtrack of America, are resonating with visitors and these numbers confirm that.”

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development works with in-market representatives from various destination marketing companies to support, create and facilitate marketing, public relations and sales initiatives in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Benelux, Brazil, China, Japan, and Italy.

For overall visitation, Tennessee places among the Top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year. The state experienced 113.6 million person stays in 2017, an increase of 3.3% over 2016. Direct domestic and international travel expenditures are currently at an all-time record-high of $19.3 billion, a 4.7 percent increase over 2015, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association.