Nashville Tourism: A Record-Breaking Year and a Bright Future Ahead

Nashville’s tourism industry continues to thrive, setting new records and driving significant economic growth for the city. Let’s take a closer look at some key highlights from 2023 and what we can expect in the coming years.

2023 Visitation

According to the Nashville Convention and Tourism Corp., Nashville welcomed an astounding 16.8 million visitors in 2023, marking a 4% increase from the previous year’s 16.2 million visitors. Projections for the future are equally promising, with 17.1 million visitors expected in 2024 and 17.5 million in 2025. By 2027, the city anticipates reaching 18.1 million visitors, coinciding with the opening of the new Nissan Stadium. By 2033, Nashville aims to surpass the 20 million annual visitors mark.

2023 Visitor Spending

The financial impact of this tourism boom is impressive. In 2023, visitor spending hit a record $10.56 billion, a notable 5.9% increase over 2022. On average, visitors spent $29 million per day in Nashville. Tourism Economics forecasts continued growth, predicting visitor spending to rise to $10.84 billion in 2024 and reach $12.07 billion by 2027.

Travel Sentiment

Travel sentiment remains strong, with 93% of travelers planning trips in the next six months. Inflation poses a potential concern, but travel has become increasingly important to people compared to a year ago. As inflation decreases and real income rises, travel is expected to remain a priority. High-income earners show the highest intention to travel, with a preference for upper midscale to luxury-class properties. Demand for these properties has grown year-to-date in April, while midscale and economy-class properties have experienced slight declines. Additionally, convention and business travel plans are on the rise.

Segmentation

Tourism Economics estimates that 64% of visitors to Nashville come for leisure travel, while 36% visit for business meetings, conventions, reunions, student groups, and other group events that book 10 or more rooms per night at Davidson County hotels.

International Visitors

International tourism is also on the rise, with forecasts predicting 453,000 international visitors in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic 2019 record by 16%. By 2026, Nashville expects to welcome over half a million international visitors, a 42% increase from 2023.

A Top Destination for Meetings and Events

Nashville continues to be a premier destination for meetings and conventions. It ranks as the third most popular meetings destination in North America, and boasts four hotels in the top five for meetings:

  • Grand Hyatt Nashville (#1)
  • Omni Nashville Hotel (#2)
  • JW Marriott Nashville (#4)
  • Renaissance Nashville Hotel (#5)

The city also leads the large market for meetings volume growth with a remarkable 38% year-over-year increase in April 2024. Additionally, Nashville was named one of the top five cities globally for hotel-construction pipeline.

Record-Breaking Events and Hotel Occupancy

Nashville’s popularity as a leisure destination was highlighted last month with a record-breaking weekend for hotels on May 3-4. This busy weekend included Morgan Wallen concerts at Nissan Stadium, numerous college and university graduations, and a Nashville Predators playoff game. Over 75,000 hotel rooms were sold, the most ever for a weekend in the city’s history. This slightly exceeded the number sold during the same weekend in 2023, which coincided with the Taylor Swift Eras tour. The hotel occupancy rate for the Nashville MSA on that Friday was 94%, the highest among the top 25 markets nationwide. Downtown’s occupancy rate was nearly unprecedented at 98%, with virtually every room in the urban core booked.

Looking Ahead

With record-breaking visitation and spending, a growing international market, and a top ranking as a meetings destination, Nashville’s tourism industry is set to continue its impressive trajectory. As the city prepares for the opening of the new Nissan Stadium and continues to attract major events, the future of Nashville tourism looks brighter than ever.


Barb is the president of NASTRA and has spent her professional career in hospitality and real estate. After acquiring her first short-term rental in 2018, Barb moved her focus to legal advocacy after she sued the city of Nashville over a permit issue. Over the last three years, she has mentored more than 2,800 new STR hosts and is the Community Leader for Airbnb in Nashville, as well as an Airbnb “Ask a Superhost” Ambassador. Barb has appeared on numerous radio broadcasts, television shows, and podcasts to talk about her love of hosting. She also manages and co-hosts a number of short term rentals across Tennessee and Arkansas. Barb and her husband Pat own a hotel brokerage, development and consulting company. Look for her upcoming podcast series, “Women of Airbnb.”

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