This week kicks off National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), an annual celebration of the contributions of the US travel industry.

As Tennessee’s # 2 industry, the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development and partners across the state will come together to recognize the “power of travel” and the industry’s vital role in rebuilding our nation. workforce, restoring businesses and accelerating our state’s economy.

“Tennessee is open and keen to welcome visitors again and help with economic recovery, jobs and development in all 95 counties,” said Mark Ezell, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development.

“While we are hopeful, we know there is a lot of work ahead of us. Our industry will be united. National Travel and Tourism Week is an opportunity to remind visitors and residents of the travel industry’s incredible contributions not only to our local economies and workforce, but also to our identity and to the culture of these communities.


  • More than two-thirds of Americans are ready to travel and Tennessee ranks among the most coveted domestic destinations (Destination analyst)
  • More than seven in 10 US travelers (72%) plan a summer vacation or getaway, up from 37% in 2020 (Destination analyst)
  • As of the week of April 26, nearly 88% have at least tentative leisure travel plans right now and over 71% will be taking at least one trip in the next 3 months. In fact, the typical American traveler will likely take close to 2 pleasure trips before August. (Destination analyst)
  • Road trips in the United States topped 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the pandemic during the first two weeks of April, but it has since slowed down somewhat in the second half of the month (Arrival)

These data show how essential tourism is to our state’s revenues and to the restoration of communities. While Tennessee’s tourism industry fares better than most due to the state’s various outdoor destinations, many Tennessee residents are left out of work. In March 2021, employment in leisure and hospitality was still down, from 336.1 thousand to 292.9 thousand, a decrease of 12.8% year on year. In comparison, total non-farm employment only experienced a 2.6% drop from 2020. Job losses in leisure and hotels account for 52.6% of net jobs lost in the industry. ‘Status as of March 2020.


  • Tourism is Tennessee’s # 2 industry
  • Tourism in Tennessee marked a decade of growth with a record $ 23 billion in travel spending and $ 1.92 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2019
  • Taxpayer money supports jobs, economic development and essential services like education and public safety
  • Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee was on track for another record-breaking year in 2020. The travel industry contributes significantly to the US economy and exports and supports millions of hard-working Americans .
  • The pandemic is the biggest crisis to hit Tennessee’s entertainment and hospitality industry, accounting for $ 303 million in lost revenue for the state between March and December 2020. (Tennessee Department of Revenue)

Celebrated annually on the first full week of May, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) was established by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the United States. the importance for the US economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery. Please visit ustravel.org/NTTW to learn more.

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