Tennessee ranks No. 1 for international travel growth in U.S.

Tennessee has had the highest growth rate for international visitors in the United States at 11 percent.

The data was provided by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, citing Tourism Economics.

“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.

International travelers spent $934 million in Tennessee last year, up 39 percent since 2012, according to the Tourism Economics data. Canada had the highest visitation to Tennessee, followed by United Kingdom, Germany and Japan

“Every day we work to showcase the wonderful assets of Tennessee to the rest of (the) 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.”

In May, British Airways added a nonstop flight from Nashville to London that is expected to further boost international tourism and business opportunities in Middle Tennessee.

Tennessee had 113.6 million person stays in 2017, up 3.3 percent from the previous year. Domestic and international travel expenditures hit a record $19.3 billion, up 4.7 percent from 2015, according to the state tourism department, citing U.S. Travel Association.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Jamie McGee

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

Published May 25, 2018