As Nashville Celebrates Tourism Milestone, Officials Wonder How Long It Can Keep Setting Records | Nashville Public Radio

As Nashville Celebrates Tourism Milestone, Officials Wonder How Long It Can Keep Setting Records

Jan 14, 2016

Butch Spyridon, head of tourism in Nashville, and Mayor Megan Barry touted the milestone at a press conference.
Credit Madeline Goetz / WPLN

Every month for five years, Nashville has booked more hotel rooms and collected more hotel taxes than the year before. 

At a press conference where tourism officials touted the achievement, Amanda Hite, president of the tourism research firm STR, says this kind of growth surprises her. The Nashville region has been building so many hotels over the past five years, she says, that she didn’t expect there to be enough demand to fill them.

“It’s a market that doesn’t perform like the numbers and the history and all the models that we look at," Hite says. "We cannot build a model for Nashville."

The only city that’s come close to this kind of year-over-year growth is Houston, which ended a 59-month streak last year.

While 60 months is a nice milestone, Nashville tourism director Butch Spyridon says he doesn’t expect Nashville's streak to last much longer either.

“You can’t just beat yourself every month for five years in a row," he says. "We do know that eventually the streak will end, but we think we have raised the bar permanently for the city."

One thing that could boost numbers in the future is the fact that 1,800 more rooms are being built right now around the region. The challenge, Spyridon says, is to fill them.

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