Giraffe Feeding at the Memphis Zoo
Craig Thompson

Tourism Economic Impact

Focus in on the story and statistics around the economic impact of tourism on Memphis, Tennessee. 


  • 2021 Annual Visitors: 10.7M+
  • Leisure & Hospitality Jobs in Shelby County in 2020: 39.5K
  • Leisure & Hospitality Businesses in Shelby County: 2,000+
  • 2020 Annual Economic Impact of Domestic Visitors: $2.572B
  • State Tax Receipts Generated: $175M
  • Local Tax Receipts Generated: $149M


The top travel motivators for Memphis visitors include paying their respects to Memphis music legends like Elvis, B.B. King and Johnny Cash; experiencing our current live music scene and the Memphis nightlife in person, especially Beale Street; tasting our world-famous barbeque; and most importantly, spending quality time making memories with friends and family.
Nearly two-thirds of all Memphis attraction visitors report experiencing the music unique to Memphis was a key reason they chose to come here, ranking the importance of Memphis as a seven or above on a scale of ten—and half of these music-influenced travelers ranked music as a nine or a ten in importance.
Only 15 percent of Memphis attraction visitors reported that experiencing live music was not a priority for them during their trip to Memphis; over 60% of surveyed Memphis  visitors reported that they experienced live music during their trip.
Memphis Tourism's
2021 Annual Report


Based on an always-on digital survey strategy, we have considerable insight into the characteristics of a Memphis visitors
  • Average Number of Adults in Attraction Travel Parties: 1.9 Adults
  • Share of Memphis Attraction Travel Parties that Include Children: 47%
  • Average Number of Children in Attraction Family Travel Parties: 1.3 Children
  • Average Nightly Expenditures for Overnight Travel Parties: $742 Nightly
  • Average Length of Stay for Overnight Travel Parties: 3.1 Nights
  • Share of Travel Parties Staying Overnight: 63%
  • Share of Overnight Travel Parties Staying in Hotels: 61.7%


  • Total Number of Memphis MSA Hotel Rooms: 25,676
  • Total Number of Hotel Rooms Downtown: 4,011


Based on information from the US Travel Economic Review of Travel in America, 2019 Edition, the most recent report available
  • 2.3 billion domestic person-trips were taken in the U.S. in 2018, up 1.9 percent from 2017.
  • 79.6 million international visitors arrived in the U.S. in 2018, up 3.5 percent from 2017.
  • 39.9 million international visits were from overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico), a 2.5 percent increase from 2017.
  • Nearly $1.1 trillion was spent by domestic and international travelers in 2018, up 4.9 percent from 2017.
  • Domestic and international travel spending generated 8.9 million jobs in 2018, up 1.3 percent from 2017.
  • Travel spending generated $268 billion in wages and salaries for American workers, up 3.6 percent from 2017.
  • Travel spending also raised $171 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments, up 4 percent from 2017.
Submit a Request for
Travel Media Assistance