CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Tennessee Governor’s Conference on hospitality and tourism wrapped up Friday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
The event brought in hundreds of tourism professionals from around the state.
News 12’s spoke to the governor about the success the volunteer state is generating right now.
Governor Bill Haslam said Tennessee has been able to exceed in tourism.
“Tourism at $18.4 billion dollar impact to the Tennessee Economy last year and 157,000,000 jobs. Folks are staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants and all that again, means jobs. It means revenue for our state and local government.”
All 95 counties had more $1 million dollars generated in their area.
“Chattanooga and Hamilton County went over a billion dollars. One of only five counties in the state to do that. In a state that doesn’t have a state income tax, we derive our revenue to run government off of sales tax and tourism is a huge part of that.”
Governor Haslam expects millennials to help continue that growth.
“They’re a lot less interested in buying stuff and a lot more interested in experiences. Those experiences translate into tourism dollars so we have to make certain that we tell that generation of people here’s why Tennessee’s the right place for you.”