Visitors to Haywood County spent $17M in 2021

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (September 12, 2022) – Tennessee tourism generated $24.2 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2021, according to recently released economic impact data from U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics. It also marks the largest visitor spending nationally in Tennessee’s history. According to the report, visitors to Haywood County in 2021 spent $17.07 million, a 23% increase over 2020 and just shy of the all time high of $17.80 million spent in 2019.

“This is exciting news,” says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of Visit Brownsville. “We knew we were seeing more visitors, but it’s nice to see confirmation reflected through the state numbers.”

The five sectors tracked in the visitor spending report are Accommodations, Food and Beverage, Recreation, Retail, and Transportation. For Haywood County, each sector experienced increases in 2021. Transportation generating the most return (36%), followed by Food & Beverage (28%) and Lodging (19%). Retail and Recreation accounted for 10% and 7% respectively. According to the report, 150 residents are employed in a tourism-related job in Haywood County.

Haywood County also experienced a record breaking year (ending June 30, 2022) with occupancy taxes collected totaling $117,025.00, a 38% increase over last year. The previous record was $98,322, set back in 2016. This represents a tremendous return on investment for Brownsville and Haywood County.

On an average day in Haywood County last year, visitor spending generated $46,778 in daily expenditures, $9,148 in daily labor income, $2,012 daily in state taxes and $1,484 daily in local taxes. As a result of the taxes generated by tourist, each Haywood County household paid $179 less in state and local taxes according to the state’s report.

“Tourism drives economic development and job creation so that every Tennessean can thrive,” said Gov. Lee. “Our decision to prioritize strong recovery has yielded record levels of tourism growth, and we continue to welcome visitors to see all Tennessee has to offer, from the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains.”

“Tennessee is one of the top travel destinations in the world because of our tremendous assets including our unmatched scenic beauty, diverse cities, and small towns, as well as our world class attractions, music, cultural and historical sites,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “We’re so grateful to this industry and our partners and blessed that visitors come experience these destinations and support local businesses, local restaurants and local lodging and support communities.”