Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. provides tourism industry forecast amid COVID-19 pandemic

Nashville 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken Nashville’s tourism industry to its core. Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are closing while others struggle to survive. Compared to this time last year, hotels are practically empty– the streets, in the thick of COVID-19, looked much different.

When will the true Music City reappear? Will it ever? News 2 reached out to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation Tuesday for their most recent data, how much money has the city lost due to COVID-19 and when can we expect conventions and meetings to return.

Meeting/Convention Changes

The NCVC is aware of 1,032 meeting/convention cancellations representing 787,081 room nights and 508,297 attendees. These meetings were expected to generate $389.62 million in direct spending, $31.51 million in state taxes, and $33.65 million in local taxes.

Travel Trade Cancellations

The NCVC is aware of 1,126 travel trade groups with 33,674 attendees that have cancelled trips through the end of 2020, which were expected to generate at least $15.86 million in direct spending.

NCVC Forecast

  • Booked 50K group rooms in April for future dates. Booked 23K group rooms in May.
  • Bottomed out the week of April 5-11, averaging 4,700 hotel rooms sold per night compared to 26,000+ same time last year. 
  • Since then, the city has seen 9 straight weeks of rooms sold growth, but it’s a slow climb.
  • In the 2nd week of June, Nashville saw an average of 9,700 rooms sold per night. 
  • Significant bump in rooms sold on the weekend over weekdays – evidence of the return of leisure demand.
  • Twenty hotels closed temporarily. Twelve of those have reopened (Omni, Hilton, JW Marriott, Thompson, Loews, Noelle), and most of the remaining hotels are planning to re-open by the end of next week (e.g. Opryland, Hutton, Graduate).
  • Most meetings and conventions have cancelled through the summer. Into the fall, it’s a mixed bag. Those that do happen are expecting lower attendance than in previous years. 
  • STR & CBRE both agree that it will take at least 3-4 years for Nashville hotel rooms sold to reach 2019 levels.

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