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Nashville tourism industry hits new high

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The tourism industry in Nashville has hit a record.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1p0KEHu) cited data from Hendersonville-based Smith Travel Research in reporting that March saw the highest number of hotel rooms sold in one month in the city.

The 640,000 rooms sold broke the previous record in October 2013 by almost 7 percent.

Compared to other Top 25 markets for March, Nashville reported the second largest increase in rooms sold and it was in the top five for occupancy growth.

The city's occupancy tax, which also indicates how the hospitality industry is faring, also experienced growth, up 34 percent compared to March 2013.

Tourist tax collections in March rose to more than $4.75 million, which was up 33.9 percent from a year prior. The city has collected $31.3 million so far this year, which is more than 20 percent over the same period in last year.

"Once again we are seeing unprecedented growth in Nashville's hospitality industry," said Ed Hardy, chairman of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. board of directors. "The numbers are reaching incredible heights. We must focus on sustaining this momentum and keeping Nashville a top destination for years to come."

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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