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Tourism Revenue Tops $141.9 Million

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December 05, 2018
After a small dip in 2016, tourism in Bradley County experienced a 5.5 percent increase in revenue growth for 2018. Bradley County’s total for 2017 tourism revenue tops $141.9 million, the highest ever reported. These are the latest figures published by the U.S. Travel Association in a study commissioned by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. The study was recently released at the 2018 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The study also reported 2017 tourism revenue for the state of Tennessee totaled $20.8 billion, a 6.83 percent increase over 2016.

“We are so pleased with the healthy growth of our local tourism industry,” noted Melissa Woody, vice president for Tourism Development for the Chamber of Commerce (shown in photo on right). “We are fortunate in Bradley County – Cleveland and Charleston, along with our neighbors in the Ocoee Region, to offer exciting outdoor adventure, compelling heritage sites and southern charm.”

The annual study, The Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee Counties, showed the combined local and state taxes generated by tourists to be $11.9 million. “These tax dollars help support local services that we enjoy as residents – like quality roads and schools, police and fire protection — but visitors helped pay the bills instead of our citizens paying more from our own pockets,” she said. These expenditures by visitors save local residents $304 per household. “We did have a slight dip in last year’s numbers by just 2 percent,” Woody said. “I almost expected it. In 2012, we had the highest growth rate in the entire state with an increase of 9.43 percent. The year before, we had the second highest rate. Those are big jumps, so I am thankful to be back on the positive growth trend after just a small decrease. We have essentially caught up with ourselves.”

Woody explained the high growth years were largely part of the successful economic development activity of the Chamber. Several industries were under construction or expanding during those high growth years. She explained that many consultants and construction personnel were staying in local hotels, dining in area restaurants and shopping in local stores. She said these types of projects pump millions of dollars into an economy and the tourism sector is certainly no exception.

“We all work together in concert to benefit our community,” she stated. “Just as we need a strong industrial base, agricultural base and small business community, we need a healthy local tourism industry. Visitor activities, events, sites and revenue are important contributors to a strong economy and high quality of life in any community.” For more information, check out www.VisitClevelandTN.com.
Joel Henderson, Communications Director

225 Keith St SW
PO Box 2275
Cleveland TN 37320-2275
Phone: 423-472-6587
Fax: 423-472-2019
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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