Tennessee tourism officials: Visitors up 4.4 percent in 2016

Downtown Nashville Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee tourism officials say 110 million people visited the state last year, a 4.4 percent jump from 2015.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development says the research from DK Shifflet shows Tennessee is a top-10 state for domestic travel for the third consecutive year.

About 80 percent, or 88.4 million, of those Tennessee visitors were leisure travelers, a 5.1 percent boost compared to 2015.

State tourism officials attribute the increase in leisure travelers to a jump in overnight stays, which grew by 5.2 percent.

Starting Sunday, the department is celebrating a national tourism week with fairs and free windshield washing at the state’s 14 welcome centers.