Recently released numbers from U.S. Travel Association show tourism in Clarksville-Montgomery County hit a record-high $254 million in domestic and international travel spending in 2019, marking six years of consecutive growth.
Direct travel spending in Montgomery County increased $10 million over the previous year, a 4% growth rate. In 2019, local tourists spent an average of $697,000 per day. Tourism generated nearly $20 million in state and local tax revenue in 2019, approximately half of which directly supports public education. Those tax dollars also support public safety, health and human services, business and economic development. Revenue generated saved each household in the county $295 in taxes.
"Tennessee is a top national and international destination, and Clarksville is recognized statewide as a leader in Tennessee," said Visit Clarksville Board of Directors Chair Ginna Holleman. "As a community, we appreciate the work and dedication the Visit Clarksville staff and volunteers put in each and every day to promote our city to leisure travelers, group tours and sporting events. Their efforts truly make a positive difference to each of us."
These numbers reflect tourism’s significant impact prior to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. U.S. Travel Association predicts the travel economy in Tennessee could see a 35-45% decline in 2020 from 2019.
While proud of the growth and results in 2019, Theresa Harrington, Visit Clarksville Executive Director, is already feeling the effects of a very different 2020. “The travel and tourism industry around the world has taken a very hard hit since March, and we’re no exception in Clarksville,” she says. “We have seen how important travel is to our economies, but we’ve also seen how important it is for mental and emotional health. To see and experience other places or cultures, or to visit with family and friends afar, to make memories with children, these things are foundationally important to our way to life and our well-being. We don’t take for granted the value of what we do both for our local and state economy, but also for our visitors.”
About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influence tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions and group tours, and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by nine board of director members and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.
Photo: Clarksville's Cumberland RiverCenter is enjoyed daily by visitors and residents. Photo by Lucas Ryan Chambers.