Nashville skyline

Already, 15.8 million visitors have traveled to the greater Nashville area in 2019, a seven percent increase over the same time period in 2018. But it’s not for nothing Nashville is such a popular destination for travel.

This year the city has already welcomed new hotels like Dream Hotel Nashville and the Downtown Sporting Club, with a new Margaritaville Hotel and Graduate Hotel set to open next year.

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A hotel expansion is currently underway while the Music City also turns a spotlight on its arts scene, with a series of new exhibitions recently opened at cultural institutions throughout the city.

Here, Visit Music City Vice President of Tourism Sales Laurel Bennett discusses why Nashville is one of the country’s hottest travel destinations.

TP: What’s driving the ongoing expansion of Nashville’s hotel scene?

LB: Occupancy growth in Nashville has been driven primarily by transient hotel stays so far this year, and Nashville has seen rooms sold growth 101 out of the past 104 months (over 8.5 years).

Hotel developers see statistics like that and are motivated to invest in the hospitality industry in Music City.

Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

TP: How do Nashville’s cultural offerings intersect with its country music scene?

LB: Nashville has a creative and collaborative culture that started with the music industry and continues to emerge through our flourishing culinary scene, burgeoning fashion scene and ever-growing arts scene.

Creativity thrives in Nashville and you can discover local makers throughout our eclectic neighborhoods – each with its own distinct personality and character.

With more than 180 live music venues, music is everywhere and accessible 365 days a year, but visitors will also discover rich history, exciting sports and an event calendar that is always full of concerts, festivals, art exhibits and cultural events.

Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee

TP: How does the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. work with travel agents?

LB: Our sales team focuses on promoting to the travel trade, and we have traditionally focused on product development with tour operators. We host several international travel agent FAMs each year in partnership with the tour operators that are selling tour product that includes Nashville.

One of our strategic initiatives moving forward is to engage more with domestic travel agents, and we are incorporating travel agent specific events into our travel schedule this year. We will be attending the Signature Travel Conference in December and hosting their Owner’s Meeting in 2020. Plans to develop an online training portal for travel agents are also in the works!

In the meantime, we welcome travel agents visiting Nashville to experience everything Music City has to offer and support that by provide them with a Star Card good for admission for 2 into most of our area attractions!