Tourism brought $3.2B to Memphis in 2016

Elvis impersonators performing in Memphis (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Elvis impersonators performing in Memphis (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One of the lifelines of the Memphis economy has a good chance to get even stronger.

Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau talked Thursday about tourism in Memphis. In front of a packed auditorium at the brand new Graceland Guest House, the bureau proudly announced great economic numbers.

In 2016, Memphis tourism produced $3.2 billion in travel expenditures. The Bluff City brought in 10.5 million visitors, $158 million in state and local taxes, and created 35,000 local jobs.

"Well it just continues to build," Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. "This is a hot destination, we're in a great location in the country. We got unique, one-of-a-kind amenities that people from around the world want to see. And there's no end in sight."

This year is off to a great start too, with the NCAA Regionals selling out hotels and the 40th anniversary of Elvis' death expecting to bring in large crowds for Elvis Week.

"We know it's just going to be a really strong summer for us," Kane said.

Also announced in a video, Memphis will be included in a new IMAX movie chronicling music in America.

"Memphis being included in that film will be a part of giving people motivation to not only come to the United States but to make sure Memphis is on that itinerary," Chris Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA said.

With this announcement, the hope is that our unique city continues to bring in millions of visitors from all over the world.

"We just want Memphians to be very proud of their hometown," Kane said. "We got a destination that attracts over 11 million visitors a year from all over the world so obviously there's something here that people want to see."

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