Already among the Top 10 meeting cities in the United States, Nashville, Tennessee, announced this week that visitor spending increased to a record $5.43 billion in Davidson County in 2014.

Nashville’s star continues to rise thanks to the hit TV show “Nashville” and the city’s green convention center, which serves as a great venue for major meetings and trade shows. Cosmopolitan and boutique hotels surround the downtown entertainment district, making Nashville a Smart Meetings’ favorite.

“These figures confirm the success of the investments we have made in ourselves and underscore our appeal as a destination city for both leisure and business travelers,” said Mayor Karl Dean. “Our hospitality industry is vital to our success as a city and as we see these numbers rise every year, we know this is the new normal for Nashville. The amount of success we are currently experiencing takes a team effort and it is important to remember how we got to this point. We must also look to the future and continue to be proactive as we move Nashville in the right direction.”

$5 Billion Club

Nashville just missed out on joining the $5 billion club in 2013, when it had $4.99 billion in visitor spending. According to Ken Levitan, chairman of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) board of directors, the city established a goal back in 2003 to break the $5 billion mark by 2015, so achieving this milestone a year early is a very big deal on many levels. The Nashville tourism industry employs more than 57,400.

“We should celebrate our accomplishments, but our next challenge will be maintaining that level of success by continuing to allow our product to evolve while protecting our authenticity,” Levitan said. “I have no doubt we can continue our success if we work together as an industry and as a community.”

Visitor spending in Nashville accounted for 31.5 percent of all visitor spending in Tennessee. The city drew 13.1 million visitors in 2014, up from 12.2 million in 2013. For the fourth consecutive year, Nashville set a record for hotel occupancy tax collections, bringing in $49,882,792 in 2014 for an increase of 24.1 percent.

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