Hamilton County banked its fifth consecutive billion-dollar tourism year in 2019, and that would normally be unambiguously good news — but this year hits a little different.
“It’s great news,” said Barry White, the CEO of the Chattanooga Tourism Company. “But we also have to talk about where we are right now.”
The year had a promising start, but by the time it’s over the 2020 data will likely show a blow to the local tourism scene of about 45%, White estimated.
“January and February were fairly strong, outpacing 2019,” he said. “All of that changed, obviously, in March, and changed very rapidly.”
Tourism boomed in Tennessee in 2019, but 2020 will be another story
The story was similar across the state. Tennessee tourism set records in 2019, with $23 billion in economic impact, capping a decade of steady growth.
“Tennessee is a world-renowned destination,