- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - State officials say tourists spent more than $19 billion in Tennessee in 2016, an increase of 5 percent compared with the previous year.

Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue for the 11th consecutive year in 2015, reaching $1.7 billion. That marks a 7 percent increase from 2015.

Haslam also said tourism generated 176,500 jobs in the state in 2016, a 3 percent increase from 2015.

Five counties exceeded $1 billion in travel expenditures last year. They were Davidson, Shelby, Sevier, Hamilton and Knox.

Haslam said Tennessee’s tourism industry “continues to produce record results and dedication to boost Tennessee’s economy.”

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