UPDATED 4/2/2020


Based on the latest data available, Memphis hotel occupancy rates appear to have stabilized, at least for the time being. On Sunday, March 22, we hit our lowest occupancy so far, registering just 30.2 percent occupancy. However, our occupancy rate did not continue to decline as the week progressed. Instead, our occupancy rate on Saturday, March 28, was 30.9 percent, slightly higher. Throughout the week, occupancy hovered around an average of 30.9 percent. However, we are still experiencing major declines, compared to the same period last year, which should be expected. 

Memphis Tourism recently hosted a virtual Q&A session with representatives from Baker Donelson for business owners in the hospitality industry, exploring the financial relief authorized by Congress in the CARES Act. The Greater Memphis Chamber recently hosted a webinar on the CARES Act as well, explaining how local businesses can apply for financial assistance to overcome the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 health crisis. For more information about how the provisions in the CARES Act could assist your business, you can find details on the Greater Memphis Chamber Coronavirus Business Resource page of their website. 

For now, it’s important to remember that the CARES Act is over 800 pages long, and many experts are still combing through it; however, especially as application forms have become available, some questions have been answered. For the most up-to-date information, most experts recommend discussing your options with your bank, especially if they are planning to participate in this program.   

Memphis Tourism continues to be grateful that local organizations are coordinating grassroots responses to this crisis. For example, Welcome to Memphis, a subsidiary of Memphis Tourism, is currently collaborating with the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to provide much-needed financial assistance to tourism and hospitality industry employees displaced by the impacts of COVID-19. Hourly hospitality employees who have been terminated or furloughed can apply before 6:00 PM on April 6, 2020 for these one-time grants of $300, which will be awarded randomly, so that all applicants have an equal opportunity to receive funds. 

Last weekend, Memphis Tourism hosted the Get Live! Memphis virtual music festival to encourage donations to the Music Export Memphis COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for local Memphis musicians. We’re pleased to announce that this fundraiser generated nearly $6,000 in donations from 185 individual donors during the festival itself. The most common donation amount from our grassroots donors was $10, but this event also sparked the interest of major philanthropists, one of whom donated $25K to our cause. We are happy to have played a role in this successful effort.

Need information on tourism resources, relief funds and other aids?




  1. Nearly two-thirds of surveyed American travelers agree they “can’t wait to get out and travel again,” according to a survey from Destination Analysts.
  2. Over 15K hotels in the United States have offered rooms for coronavirus emergency services.
  3. According to a study from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, COVID-19 could result in as many as 290M to 440M fewer international trips—a decline of 20 to 30 percent.
  4. Even in the best-case scenario, travel demand for airlines will not return to 2019 levels until mid-2021, according to reports from Business Insider that cite an analysis from Stifel.
  5. Vancouver hotels were enjoying the highest occupancy rate in Canada, at 71 percent. Now, their occupancy rates are in the single-digits, according to the Hotel Association of Canada.


Memphis Tourism is continually monitoring daily and weekly shifts in consumer conversations about travel on social media—including mentions of Memphis, overall conversation sentiment and trending reactions to messages from destination marketing organizations around the world. 

If you would like to take a closer look at the kinds of insights we will be tracking, you can now explore a free microsite that tracks social media mentions of the COVID-19 crisis from our social media analytics partner, NetBase. NetBase has also made several filters available, including one that focuses this report on COVID-19 mentions that relate to the travel and hospitality industry, but you can also just explore the overall trends among all conversations at a glance.

Based on these indicators, among others, we will know when we can begin to reactivate our marketing campaigns, promoting travel to Memphis once again. For now, we remain focused on inspirational messages that encourage potential visitors to daydream about the key elements of the Memphis experience, without overt calls to action or immediate next steps. 


Please continue to keep us informed about how this health crisis is impacting your business. We will keep your reports confidential and anonymous, if necessary, but we need your help to make sure we can mitigate the impact of this virus on the Memphis and Shelby County visitor economy.

As always, the Memphis Tourism team will continue to support you and our hospitality industry as we all respond to this ongoing situation.

"Partnering with our organization is critical to the future growth of our industry.  Jobs, revenue and economic vitality are heavily reliant on the visitor economy.  Your investment with our organization helps us to compete in a very crowded and competitive marketplace."

- Kevin Kane, President and CEO             
Memphis Tourism


Contact Our Team of experts 

Allison Tribo
Allison Tribo
Membership Sales Manager
Elizabeth Hornor
Marketing Coordinator