National Travel and Tourism Week highlights Tennessee's second largest industry

Foothills Parkway
Posted at 1:28 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 16:52:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — May 1-7 is National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), and Tennessee's Department of Tourist Development is celebrating the state's second largest industry with the theme "Future of Travel." This year marks the 39th anniversary of the annual celebration.

Tennessee has 16 Welcome Centers that invite visitors to experience first-hand what area destinations have to offer.

For NTTW, each Center will boast a Trivia Wheel with questions about Tennessee's music, culture, geography, sports, highway safety laws and litter prevention and awareness. Winners of the Wheel questions will receive Tennessee souvenirs.

Also available at the Welcome Centers are certified travel ambassadors, pet walking areas, picnic tables, weather and traffic monitors, Civil War exhibits, free hotel, motel, campground and attraction reservations, Wi-Fi, statewide brochures and Tennessee Vacation guides and maps.

“From Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Jack Daniel’s in Lynchburg to Beale Street in Memphis and everywhere in between, the travel and tourism industry contributes significantly to the economy and the spirit of the Volunteer State,” said Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Mark Ezell. “We are excited to connect with our partners and celebrate the bright future ahead for Tennessee’s tourism industry.”

In 2020, Tennessee Tourism generated $16.8 billion in domestic and international travel spending, especially because much of Tennessee's outdoor travel opportunities helped outperform the national average during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the economies and the U.S. opening back up, Destination Analysis has released some statistics about how Americans are eager to return to travel:

  • 81.0% of Americans report strong excitement for travel this year — 86.2% are in a "ready-to-travel" state of mind. 
  • 87.6% of Americans have current trip plans. 
  • 71.8% of Americans did some trip dreaming and planning in the last week.
  • 55.7% of American travelers would prefer to travel to places they have never been before.