Tourism report shows increases in all categories for White County
By Kim Swindell Wood | August 12, 2019 12:46 pm
Tennessee saw 119 million domestic visitors, in 2018, up 5.1 percent from 113 million the previous year and hit a record-high $22 billion in domestic and international travel spending.
Travelers in Tennessee spend an estimated $60 million per day. According to a report released last week by Tennessee Department o Tourist Development, Tennessee’s growth is outpacing the nation in all areas of travel, including tax revenue, expenditures, payroll, and employment.
In White County:
- Expenditures increased 5.92 percent (from $22.18 million, in 2017, to $23.49 million, in 2018.
- Payroll increased 5.79 percent (from $2.68 million, in 2017, to $2.83 million, in 2018)
- Employment increased 2.36 percent
- State tax receipts increased 4.40 percent (from $1.36 million, in 2017, to $1.42 million, in 2018)
- Local tax receipts increased 4.36 percent (from $1.05 million, in 2017, to $1.10 million, in 2018)
In Van Buren County:
- Expenditures increased 0.93 percent (from $9.71 million, in 2017, to $9.80 million, in 2018)
- Payroll increased 0.80 percent (from $2.34 million, in 2017, to $2.36 million, in 2018)
- Employment decreased -2.45 percent
- State tax receipts decreased -0.52 percent
- Local tax receipts decreased -0.576 percent
Tourism generated over $50 million in new state and local tax dollars in 2018, approximately $25 million of which supports public education. The report’s findings also show tourism’s value to Tennessee taxpayers. Travel in Tennessee generated 189,757 jobs and $1.81 billion in state and local tax revenue. Without tourism, each Tennessee household would have to pay an additional $712 in taxes each year. Those tax dollars support education, health and human services, public safety, business and economic development.
In 2018, Tennessee ranked number three, after Pennsylvania and Colorado, for international spending growth over 2017, according to Tourism Economics. International spending growth in Tennessee is 7 times the national average.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development works with the Tennessee Tourism Committee, local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, city and county leaders, tourism attractions and the hospitality industry in all 95 counties to help bring travelers to the state.