Sumner County Tourism announces a historic, record-breaking 2017-2018 occupancy tax collection of $924,681.18.
The occupancy tax is a 5% county-wide tax visitors who rent lodging in Sumner County pay per night.
“This is a phenomenal achievement for our team and for Sumner County,” said Sumner County Tourism’s Executive Director Barry Young. “The occupancy tax demonstrates yet another aspect of the economic impact of tourist spending; in 2016 visitors spent $142 million dollars in Sumner and the occupancy tax collected was $751,000. We can’t wait to get the numbers for tourist spending in 2017 seeing that our occupancy tax collected was $924,681. It’s incredible to think when I started this job in 2011 that the occupancy tax collected was a little over $350,000; to witness the continuing growth each year is really rewarding.”
Sumner County Tourism is a non-profit 501(c)(6) destination marketing organization that is funded by a portion of the occupancy tax collected. The mission of Sumner County Tourism is to draw tourists to Sumner County, who in turn create a positive economic impact on communities by spending money on lodging, dining, shopping, attractions, and gas.
“Visitors have great options to decide between when choosing a Middle Tennessee destination and we work hard show them why they should select Sumner County for not only their lodging needs, but as a destination to spend time visiting. Across the board Sumner County is a fantastic place to visit because of the wonderful people who make up our county. Visitors leave raving about the generous Southern hospitality and memorable experiences they encountered here.”
The occupancy tax is a measurement of nights booked in Sumner County and the opening of several new hotels and rentals brings even more visitors to the county.
“Some folks thought I was crazy for taking this job back in 2011. Sumner County has a smaller supply of rooms unlike some neighboring counties around Nashville, Sumner County doesn’t have a major Interstate dotted with hotels, and there is no convention space,” Young elaborates. “But that means we work harder to find other ways to bring visitor spending to Sumner.”
Sumner County Tourism solicits leisure travelers through print and digital media campaigns as well as providing information via an annually printed Sumner County Visitors Guide and an online resource at www.VisitSumnerTN.com. It also utilizes social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube under the name VisitSumnerTN.
The tourism office also attends trade shows to attract group travel operators to Sumner County. In 2018 alone, Sumner County Tourism has already hosted 7 group tours with more planned. Sumner County Tourism’s Sales & Group Tour Manager Sarah Czarnik-Neimeyer offers free itinerary services to help tour operators plan their Sumner County excursions and she provides complimentary step-on guide services. “Our group tours love Sumner County and are always pleasantly surprised by the stops we plan for them,” Czarnik-Neimeyer says. “Many of them tell me they can’t wait to bring their families back to Sumner County to explore the area even more and for more of the delicious eats they enjoyed during their stay.”
Sports and fishing tournaments secured by Sumner County Tourism also attracts large groups to the area, the most recent being the Premier Girls’ Fastpitch Southeastern Championship that hosted over 100 teams at Drakes Creek Park across 6 days.
“We have a great group of people here in our office who work hard to put Sumner County on the map for visitors,” Young said. “I’m thankful to represent an incredible place like Sumner County. We have tremendous supporters throughout our county and we have an unbeatable spirit of authenticity here in Sumner County that makes me proud to promote this area day in and day out.”
Sumner County Tourism will also host its first tourism conference when Spotlight on the Southeast comes to Gallatin in July 2019. Spotlight on the Southeast is a tourism conference that combines educational seminars, networking functions, and a trade show. Tour operators who attend are primarily domestic (including Canada) and range from small operations to large companies. “We’re honored to be selected as a host for this event and we can’t wait to show off Sumner County,” Young said.
Sumner County Tourism is a 501(c)(6) non-profit destination marketing organization that promotes and encourages tourism to and within Sumner County, Tennessee.