Memphis sees increase in tourism

11.8 million visitors in Memphis in 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Major growth is happening in Memphis.

Thousands of new hotel rooms are being built and city leaders say tourism numbers show those rooms will be filled.

“It's just a fun, exciting and culturally rich place to visit,” said Kevin Kane, Memphis Tourism CEO.

That place is Memphis and tourists came by the millions in 2018.

About 11.8 million people visited the Bluff City, which was a seven percent increase from the year before.

“It's an important part of our economy in Memphis. These folks will spend $3.5 billion,” said Kane.

Music remains 'King' in Memphis.

Millions head to places like Graceland and Sun Records every year, but even more head to Beale Street for music of the live variety.

“We're one of those cities, we're one of those handful of cities [with] a tremendously rich live music scene. People love it and they literally come from all over the world,” said Kane.

Japan, Canada, the U.K. and Australia top the list of most international visitors to Memphis.

City leaders see good things to come, like Bluff City Law showcasing Memphis on the small screen this fall, and a record-breaking Memphis in May this year. Plus 2,000 hotel rooms are being built in Downtown alone.

“Our occupancies are staying solid. Our rates are staying sold. So even though we’re building more hotels and bringing more inventory with Airbnb we’re seeing more people are coming here,” said Kane.

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