Visitors spent a total of $15.55 million in Haywood County in 2017

Visitors spent a total of $15.55 million in Haywood County in 2017

Visitors spent a total of $15.55 million in Haywood County in 2017

BROWNSVILLE TN (September 11, 2018): Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett announced recently that Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached a new all-time record high of $20.7 billion in 2017, up 6.3 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. Haywood County was among all 95 Tennessee counties who saw an increase in the economic impact of tourism.

For the 12th consecutive year, tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, reaching $1.8 billion. That marks a 7.6 percent increase over 2016, higher than the national growth of travel related state tax revenues of 4.6 percent. Tourism generated 184,300 jobs for Tennesseans, a 3.1 percent growth year over year.

“Counties, cities and rural communities work hard to make our state a premier destination, welcoming visitors from around the world,” Haslam said. “Our state’s second biggest industry continues to see outstanding growth, break visitation records, boost Tennessee’s economy and create new jobs. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Tourism Committee continue to produce record results that fuel our state’s economy.”

Guests spent a total of $15.55 million in Haywood County in 2017, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to 2016, generating a total of $930,000 in state and $690,000 in local tax revenues, increases of 3.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. A total of 90 Haywood Countians are employed in tourism-related fields.

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, which serves as Brownsville and Haywood County’s official destination marketing organization, continues to welcome 30,000 plus visitors each year. According to Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the Center, international visitors in 2017 were up 57%, along with a 61% increase in group travelers.

“Our visitors show great interest in our rural community,” said Clark. “Brownsville is in the unique position to offer our guest an authentic experience they’re not getting in the larger cities. Our location on I-40 adds to the convenience of stopping in our area.”

Each Tennessee county saw more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures in the economic impact of tourism. A record 113.6 million person stays also were recorded in 2017, according to U.S. Travel. Those numbers place Tennessee among the Top 10 travel destinations in the nation for the fourth consecutive year.

“These increases are more evidence that guests are staying longer in our community and spending locally,” according to Clark. Haywood County’s hotel/motel tax collection for fiscal year 2017 seems to be following the trend with an increase of 2.2 percent over the previous year.

“The growth of the tourism industry and its economic impact comes from guests discovering the world-class food, history and culture, scenic beauty and outdoors and experiences that make Tennessee ‘The Soundtrack of America.’” Commissioner Kevin Triplett said. “The authenticity and Southern hospitality from our communities and partners gives visitors an unbeatable experience and inspires them to return. The numbers show Tennessee is a destination of choice for visitors around the world. However, we would not have these numbers if not for the capital investments, renovations and dedication made by tourism partners across the state to deliver great experiences that create wonderful memories.”

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development works with local convention and visitors’ bureaus, destination marketing organizations and city and county leaders in all 95 counties to draw and welcome people to the state. For more information, contact Jill Kilgore, public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-927-1320 or by email at

CAPTION: Groups from all over the world visit the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and Tina Turner Museum each year adding to the economic impact of tourism in our community. In 2017, more than $15.5 million were spent by visitors to Brownsville and Haywood County.

About the Center: The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds is the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. The Delta Heritage Center is also a featured stop along the Americana Music Triangle connecting Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. To learn more about the Center, visit or call 731-779-9000.

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