Distilleries are one of the most significant drivers of tourism and economic growth in Tennessee, according to a recent study by Tourism Economics. The study, commissioned by the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, revealed that distilleries were one of the top-visited tourism attractions in Tennessee and brought in 8 million non-local visits and $3.45 billion in economic impact in 2022 alone.
Non-local visitors to distilleries generated an estimated total of $2.05 billion in spending across industries, including lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, transportation, and more. The over $3 billion in economic impact supported 30,000 jobs in Tennessee and created $441.1 million in tax revenue.
“Visitors from around the world make the pilgrimage each year to explore the time-honored craft of Tennessee Whiskey,” said Mark Ezell, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “It’s an important driver of tourism, which creates revenue and jobs for all Tennesseans. We are honored to celebrate the industry’s success alongside our partners at the Tennessee Distillers Guild today.”
The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is composed of more than 30 distilleries, spanning the state from Memphis to Bristol, including world-renowned brands like Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Old Dominick Distillery, Ole Smoky Distillery and more. The Trail was founded by the Tennessee Distillers Guild six years ago to celebrate the variety of tastes and experiences available across the state.
“Though Tennessee has no shortage of attractions, from the centerpiece of country music entertainment to the Smoky Mountains, this study shows that our distilleries are major destinations themselves,” said Charity Toombs, executive director of the Tennessee Distillers Guild, which operates the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. “Tennesseans and visitors alike have a taste for our state’s spirits. We’re proud that the Tennessee Whiskey Trail has become an exponential driver of tourism and economic impact throughout the state, and we hope to continue to grow and bring people back for more.”