Clarksville-Montgomery County visitor spending topped $340 million in 2021, according to economic data released today from Tourism Economics and U.S. Travel Association.
Local spending reflects a 35 percent increase over 2020 and has climbed back to 97 percent of the county’s 2019 record-breaking total of $352 million. Adding indirect spending from supporting businesses, total visitor sales equaled $535.1 million.
"Everyone experienced the negative economic effects of decreased travel in 2020. The pandemic showed us how important travel and tourism spending is to our overall economic well-being,” said Visit Clarksville Board of Directors Chairman Kyle Luther. Thankfully, 2021 brought a big turnaround and Tennessee outpaced the nation, with all counties seeing increased travel. We live in a beautiful city with a variety of fun and positive experiences for visitors and residents. We are thrilled not only for our strong local rebound but also that we’re just shy of our 2019 record. Our hotel/motel tax collections so far in 2022 indicate that we’re in for another banner year."
Data from the Tourism Economics report showed that direct state and local taxes generated by tourist activity totaled $27.4 million. Because of visitor spending, each household in Montgomery County pays $368 less in state and local taxes than they would to maintain the same tax base without that spending.
“We hope residents realize that tourism dollars are ‘clean’ dollars,” explained Theresa Harrington, Visit Clarksville Executive Director. “Visitors come to town, spend money at shops, restaurants, attractions, gas stations and hotels or rental properties, then go back home. Local governments don’t have to provide the same level of services that residents require. Tourism is an industry we want to continue to grow so those dollars can support community needs, relieving even more of the tax burden from residents.
We've increased to the Number 9 spot because we’ve been working so hard to market and promote Clarksville to leisure travelers in new markets and with new tactics. We’re growing our sports marketing efforts, group tour and military reunions, and small meetings. All of this works together to move the needle. The opening of new hotels, an event center, sports complex, Wings of Liberty Museum, shops and restaurants, and/or a convention center, will all help generate more tax revenue for the community,” she said.
Other Report Highlights:
- Average visitor spending in the county in 2021 totaled $940,000 per day.
- The Food and Beverage sector experienced the largest spending increase to $121.05 million.
- Accommodations spending totaled $65.59 million
- Retail spending totaled $36.8 million
- Recreation spending totaled $47.64 million
- Transportation spending totaled $77.65 million
- Direct labor income, or payroll, totaled $90.5 million, with 3,386 persons directly employed in tourism sectors.
2021 Visitor Spending in Tennessee’s Top Nine Counties:
- Davidson County, $7.36 billion, up 64 percent
- Shelby County, $3.46 billion, up 35 percent
- Sevier County, $3.44 billion, up 45 percent
- Knox County $1.65 billion, up 42 percent
- Hamilton County, $1.15 billion, up 40 percent
- Williamson County, $1.04 billion, up 35 percent
- Rutherford County, $634.8 million, up 34 percent
- Blount County, $476.7 million, up 41 percent
- Montgomery County, $340.5 million, up 35 percent
During the 2021-22 fiscal year, Visit Clarksville hosted sports competitions in soccer, fishing, cycling, shooting, football, track & field, baseball and softball that generated $12 million in visitor spending. Group tours, meetings and military reunions added another $1.3 million.
The 2021 interactive dashboard and county numbers can be found at https://industry.tnvacation.com/industry/research/interactive.
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About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influences 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 a nine-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.