Downtown Nashville

Photo courtesy of Flickr

The number of people visiting Music City each year keeps rising. About 15.2 million tourists visited Nashville in 2018 — nearly 5 percent more than in 2017's 14.5 million — the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced.

To cap off a record-breaking year in visitors, an estimated 175,000 to 200,000 people attended Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville last month. That number far exceeded the 100,000 attendees organizers originally expected.

The event resulted in $23 million in direct visitor spending, compared to $22.3 million in 2017.

What they said

“Major events like our New Year’s Eve and July 4th celebrations, the continued success of our sports teams, our ever-growing entertainment and music scenes, and even the establishment of British Airways’ nonstop flight from London once again showed that Nashville is a worldwide destination," Nashville Mayor David Briley said in a release.

“The momentum will surely continue this year with the NFL Draft in April and Gold Cup soccer returning to Nissan Stadium in July. We should all be proud of our city and be grateful for the hard-working men and women who make our tourism industry thrive.”

Key statistics about Nashville’s hospitality industry:

 The number of hotel rooms in Nashville has grown to 30,590, compared to 26,175 rooms five years ago.

 There are 5,014 hotel rooms under construction with another 8,995 that are in the stages of final planning/planning/prospect with a total of 14,009 rooms in the pipeline.

 20 new hotel properties have opened or will open in 2019; 15 properties opened in 2018 with nine in 2017 and five in 2016.

 133 new restaurants/bars opened in 2018, compared to 113 in 2017 and 90 in 2016. Already, 60 have been announced and are expected to open in 2019.

 Nashville International Airport (BNA) is one of the fastest growing airports in North America. It served almost 16 million passengers in 2018 on 14 airlines with 460 total daily flights to 70+ nonstop destinations.

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Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.

She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.


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