Tourism Economic Impact

State of the Industry


Average annual visitors More than 11 million
Average nightly expenditure per visitor $372
Average length of stay 2.7 nights
Average daily room rate (2016) $92.74 (Memphis-MSA)
Hotel occupancy (2016) 64.4% (Memphis-MSA)
Top International markets Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil
Top National markets Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
Top reasons for visiting Memphis Beale Street, music, blues, Elvis Presley and Graceland, Southern culture and history
Leading attractions visited Beale Street, Graceland, Sun Studio, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Zoo


Official city flower Crepe Myrtle
Official city tree Dogwood
Colleges and universities Christian Brothers University 1871
Lemoyne-Owen College, 1871
University of Memphis, 1912
Rhodes College, 1848
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 1911
Major businesses headquartered in Memphis FedEx, International Paper, AutoZone, ServiceMaster, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Indigo AG, Ducks Unlimited, First Horizon National Corp., Mueller Industries, Thomas & Betts
Elevation Airport: 331’ above sea level
Mississippi River: 188’ above sea level
Founded 1819. Incorporated 1826.
Climate Average annual: 72.4
January average: 50 / July average: 92
Precipitation Average annual rainfall: 53.67”
Government Mayor and City Council


Average age 43
Average length of stay 2.7 days
First time visitors 67%
Visitors traveling with children 36%


City of Memphis and surrounding areas The 2018 population of the Memphis-MSA is 1,342,349
Shelby County, Tennessee is 936,961
City of Memphis is 650,618
Major ethnic groups (2016) White: 29.21%; Black: 63.91%; Hispanic: 6.49%, Asian: 1.57%
Males/Females and median age Males: 48%; Females: 52%. Median resident age 33.3
Population of Tennessee 6.77 million. Tennessee is the 17th largest state in the U.S.


Total area in square miles 315.06
Memphis park services 166 parks with a total of 3,219 acres.
110 playgrounds.
28 local community centers.
48 athletic fields.
130 basketball courts (indoor and outdoor).
7 tennis centers
Tallest buildings 100 North Main: 430’, 37 stories
Raymond James Tower: 403’, 21 stories
Clark Tower: 403’, 34 stories
One Commerce Square: 396’, 31 stories
Sterick Building: 365’, 31 stories
Historical landmarks Beale Street, Chucalissa, Graceland, Sun Studio, Cotton Row Historic District, Davies Manor Plantation, Elmwood Cemetery, Victorian Village area
Entertainment districts Beale Street Entertainment District
Cooper-Young Entertainment District
Overton Square Entertainment District
South Main Historic Arts District
Broad Avenue Arts District
Main Street Collierville


Hotel room nights generated in 2016 165+K
Meetings, conventions and events in 2016 303
Economic impact for 2016 $109+M
Memphis Cook Convention Center 350,000 square feet of convention space. 31 breakout rooms. 28,000 square foot ballroom accommodating 2,000 people
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts 2,100 seat multi-purpose facility
FedExForum A capacity of 18,600, FedExForum is a sports and entertainment arena with multiple additional meeting rooms
University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology State-of-the-art facility with 190-seat tiered amphitheater, 85-seat high-definition presentation theater and 17 meeting rooms
Agricenter International 14,000 square foot facility with 800 seat amphitheater / auditorium and 5 additional meeting rooms


Number of hotel rooms available citywide (2017) 23,610
Number of hotel rooms available inside Memphis city limits (2017) 15,790
Number of hotel rooms available in Downtown Memphis (2017) 4,264


Number of attractions 60+
Music-themed attractions Memphis, Home of the blues and Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll has many must-see music-themed attractions including Beale Street Historic District, Blues Music hall of Fame, Center for Southern Folklore, Graceland, Gibson Guitar Factory, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, St. Blues Guitar Workshop, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio and the W.C. Handy home and Museum.
Restaurants With approximately 100 barbecue restaurants alone, Memphis is also home to world-famous fine dining, rich soul food and eclectic dining.
Theaters and small theaters Memphis offers multiple choices when it comes to live entertainment, dance classical concerts and performance art. Of special note is the Orpheum Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse, Theatre Memphis, Hattiloo Theatre, The Doll House Theater at Crosstown and FedExForum
Art museums Memphis is rich with arts, sculpture and painting exhibits offering pieces form Rodin to Renoir. Be sure to visit Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Metal Museum, Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, CrosstownArts and the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange.


Bike lanes In addition to the vast number of bike trails in Memphis, make sure to walk / bike / run Big River Crossing spanning the Mississippi River bridging Downtown Memphis and West Memphis, Arkansas and the Shelby Farms Greenline, a 10.65 mile paved, urban trail that connects pedestrians and cyclists in Midtown Memphis through Shelby Farms Park to Cordova..
Mississippi River Go kayaking on the Mississippi River or take a leisure tour aboard a paddle-wheel riverboat.
Recreation Shelby Farms Park offers horseback riding, 20 lakes for fishing and paddle-boating, a disc-golf course, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, bike trails and more.

Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is more than 13,000 acres of hardwood forest and with plenty to do: fishing lakes, disc-golf course, biking and hiking trails plus park cabins.

Paddle down the Ghost River near historic La Grange, Tennessee. This 8.5 mile well-marked canoe trail offers intimate views of abundant wildlife, lakes and untouched portions of the Wolf River.

If golf is your interest, be sure to play Mirimichi, established by Justin Timberlake, or TPC Southwind that hosts the WGC St. Jude-FedEx Invitational PGA tournament. 

Gardens Memphis Botanic Gardens and Dixon Gallery and Gardens will give you the solitude and beauty you expect. In addition, you can view works of art or let the children run free in My Big Backyard play area.
Festivals From outdoor kayak races to St. Jude Memphis Marathon to the annual dragon boat races, there is a festival in Memphis for every competitive spirit.


Public transportation Each year MATA services over 12M passengers trips on a fleet of 222 transit vehicles including passenger buses and trolley buses
Licensed taxis Checker Cab, yellow Cab and Premiere Transportation
Explore Bike Share  600 bikes and 60 stations connect Downtown, Midtown, South Memphis and Orange Mound for visitors and residents to explore the city
Bird Scooters Download the app and use the dockless electric scooter to get around downtown and midtown
Air terminal Memphis International Airport, “America’s Aerotropolis” is a world-class facility serving more than 8 million passengers a year
Rail service Central Station with Amtrak service since 1971
Bridges Frisco: 1892; Harahan: 1916; Memphis & Arkansas: 1949; Hernando De Soto: 1973