Recently released figures show significant growth in Rutherford County’s tourism impact, including a $6 million increase in revenue on total rooms sold in 2013.
According to the Smith Travel Research annual report, the county experienced an increase in all categories across the board, including hotel occupancy, revenue per available room, average daily rate, room revenue, and rooms sold. The increase in each category was well above the national average as well as the average for the state of Tennessee. Over the past two years, the number of rooms sold has increased 16.2%, and in 2013 alone, an additional 32,468 room nights were sold as demand increased.
“We have seen demand grow year after year,” said Barbara Wolke, interim vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These increased numbers mean that more people are traveling to Rutherford County and staying in our local hotels, while visiting local attractions, shopping in our retail outlets and dining in our restaurants. With the additional hotel supply in Murfreesboro and Smyrna—four new hotels were added between 2008 and 2010—overall tourism and demand has increased to help fill these additional rooms. We hope to continue this upward trend.”
The CVB’s funding comes, in part, from a portion of the City of Murfreesboro’s hotel-motel tax revenues. In 2013, the CVB’s portion saw an increase of nearly $70,000 over 2012—the largest increase on record for Murfreesboro. For the first time in 17 years, this number increased every single month, over the previous year. The last time this occurred was in 1996.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is the primary marketing arm of the county and advertises in major national publications as well as maintaining a presence on the internet, social media, billboards, and in Tennessee state welcome centers. The CVB produces and distributes several marketing pieces each year, and works closely with event organizers, sporting groups, TSSAA, group tour operators and individual visitors. For more information, visit the CVB’s website at www.ReadySetRutherford.com