Memphis tourism holds steady after high-profile crimes

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 7:05 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis tourism hasn’t had any large cancellations despite recent high-profile crimes in the Bluff City.

Barbara Meadows was visiting Beale Street for the first time Monday.

She said she heard about the tragic events that happened last week but never thought about canceling the trip to visit her family in Memphis.

“There’s crime everywhere,” Meadows said.

For her, walking in Memphis isn’t any different than walking her hometown turf in San Antonio.

“Every place you go, there’s gonna be some crime, but you can’t let that stop you from living your life,” is Meadows’ mantra.

James Rediker was also visiting Memphis for the very first time on Monday.

He says it’s a city he’s wanted to see for a long time.

Like Meadows, he’s not going to stop living his life, even if The Bluff City is going through a rough patch.

“There’s shootings everywhere,” Rediker said. “You can’t go around being scared of stuff like that.”

That’s a good thing for Memphis, especially when it comes to the economy.

According to state data, in 2021, visitors to Memphis and Shelby County spent $3.4 billion in the community.

That money also brought $109 million in local sales tax and $166 million in state sales tax to Memphis and Shelby County.

President and CEO of Memphis Tourism Kevin Kane released this statement that reads in part:

“Destination experience is important and safety is a top priority for Memphis Tourism, the Memphis Police Department, and all of our hospitality partners. We want Memphis to continue to be a place that leads with hospitality, warmth and love to our out-of-town guests and locals alike. These tragic events do not define our city.”

That warmth and friendliness is certainly still felt in full force, according to Meadows, who said, “I absolutely love (Memphis). It seems so warm and friendly.”

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