by Lisa A. Grimaldi | January 25, 2018
Nashville hosted a record 14.5 million visitors in 2017, a 4.1 percent increase from 2016's record 13.9 million visitors, according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. The destination marketing organization attributed the uptick to a strong leisure market as well as events such as the solar eclipse in August, seven Garth Brooks concerts in December, and weekend gatherings, festivals and football games that took place in the fall.
"Our visitor numbers were surprisingly stronger than the 2 percent to 3 percent growth we had initially forecasted," said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the NCVC. "Our appeal as a global leisure and meetings destination continues at a high level, and we can't thank Mayor Megan Barry, along with the hotels, restaurants, attractions and our other hospitality industry partners, enough for their part in the city's success. When visitors come, they spend money, and that generates economic activity for local businesses and tax revenue for the city."
Last year, nine new hotels debuted in the Music City and saw the opening of attractions including the Patsy Cline Museum, Madame Tussauds Nashville and Topgolf.  With 15 new properties, 107 new restaurants and bars, and 17 citywide conventions on the books for 2018, the NCVC expects even more visitors in 2018.