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. 

TOURISM STATISTICS

  • 2019 Annual Visitors: 12.4M+
  • Leisure & Hospitality Jobs in Shelby County in 2018: 49K+
  • Leisure & Hospitality Businesses in Shelby County: 2,000+
  • 2018 Annual Economic Impact of Domestic Visitors: $3.65B
  • State Tax Receipts Generated: $179.5M
  • Local Tax Receipts Generated: $101M

TOP TRAVEL MOTIVATORS

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.
 
Over three-quarters 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 over 60 percent 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 three-quarters of surveyed Memphis attraction visitors had either already experienced live music during their trip or reported having definite plans to seek out a live music experience during their time here.
Memphis Tourism's
2019 Annual Report

LEISURE TRAVELER PROFILE

Based on personal interviews with 1,300 actual Memphis attraction visitors, we have considerable insight into the characteristics of a Memphis attraction visitors
  • Average Number of Adults in Attraction Travel Parties: 2.4 Adults
  • Share of Memphis Attraction Travel Parties that Include Children: 34%
  • Average Number of Children in Attraction Family Travel Parties: 2 Children
  • Average Nightly Expenditures for Attraction Travel Parties: $398 Nightly
  • Average Length of Stay for Attraction Leisure Travel Parties: 2.4 Nights
  • Share of Attraction Travel Parties Staying Overnight: 77%
  • Share of Overnight Attraction Travel Parties Staying in Hotels: 66%

2019 HOTEL INDUSTRY

  • Total Number of Memphis MSA Hotel Rooms: 24,658
  • Total Number of Hotel Rooms Downtown: 3,326

2019 UNITED STATES TRAVEL & TOURISM INDUSTRY

Based on information from the US Travel Economic Review of Travel in America, 2019 Edition
  • 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.
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