Nashville’s tourism industry gearing up for strong summer despite inflation

Nashville’s tourism industry gearing up for strong summer despite inflation

2022-07-13T05:06:30-04:00June 20th, 2022|Economy, Nashville, Tourism|

NashvilleWriter: Ryan Gandolfo

2 min read June 2022 Despite inflationary pressures causing some travelers to rethink their vacations this summer, Nashville is in a prime position to welcome tourists with big-time events taking place in the coming months.

U.S. inflation hit 8.6% last month, reaching a milestone as the largest annual increase since 1981. But that’s not deterring travelers from preparing for future trips, with 80% of respondents claiming to have done some trip dreaming and planning recently, according to a Destination Analysts survey published in May. Leaders in Tennessee remain optimistic on tourism in Nashville and the state as a whole.

“While there are concerns about inflation and the economy, we believe Tennessee is well-positioned to weather those challenges. Americans are ready to travel, there is pent-up demand,” Mark Ezell, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, told WKRN.

National Geographic named Nashville as a Top 5 travel destination for the month of June, joining the idyllic cliffs of Wales and colorful rainforests in Borneo as the travel magazine’s favorite spots. The list noted that Nashville is jam-packed with music events, including Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and all-day, free non-profit festival Make Music Nashville.

Earlier this month, Nashville’s CMA Fest returned after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus. The four-day event saw an estimated 80,000 visitors attend from 50 states and 39 different countries, according to event organizers. “Seeing the fans return to Nashville or visit us for the very first time is so heartwarming, and welcoming back our artists and the music community after two difficult years means so much,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA’s chief executive officer, on the CMA Fest website.

According to WKRN, Davidson County’s 37,200 hotel rooms were nearing capacity because of the country music festival. “What’s really exciting and interesting about that is we have a larger supply of hotel rooms. As we know, a lot more hotels have opened since 2020 and we seem to be absorbing those. The demand is filling even the new supply of hotels, so it’s very exciting,” Leesa LeClaire, president and CEO of the Greater Nashville Hospitality Industry, told News 2. 

Nashville’s hospitality sector has been booming in recent years. In 2021, 11 new hotel properties and 1,709 rooms were added, according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. The 2022 forecast exceeds 2,000 new hotel rooms.