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Is Music City attracting a new kind of tourist?



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville tourism is on a roll. The city pulled down 6.5 billion dollars last year, an 8 percent increase.

Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President Deana Ivey says Music City is benefiting from a lot of positive buzz in tourism circles in the U.S. and overseas. She says the city is also making progress on two perennial tourism problem areas, having enough hotel rooms and enough workers.

“Having enough employees at the restaurants, and at the hotels. You don’t want that to be a reason that people are disappointed or don’t want to come back.”

Cumberland Hospitality Group operates several venues in the area, including the Nashville Palace, Whiskey Bent, and Doc Hollidays.

Spokesman Bo Jennings says venues are paying higher salaries in an effort to stay fully staffed.

“Qualified talent whether it’s chefs, cooks, bartenders, servers, even dishwashers; you know it’s just tough filling all those service industry positions right now.”

Jennings also says Nashville is now seeing two distinct groups of tourists. Older visitors who are primarily interested in the live music scene, and a younger crowd looking for something different.

“You’re seeing more of a trend to people wanting more experiential things like Karaoke, or a DJ. It’s a different thing for Nashville.”

Deana Ivey says every major event held in Nashville this past year enjoyed stronger attendance, including CMA and the July 4th celebration.