Sevier County locals say they are seeing increase in summer tour

Sevier County locals say they are seeing increase in summer tourism

Posted:
Every year millions of people pour into Sevier county on vacation. Every year millions of people pour into Sevier county on vacation.
More than 11 million people every year come to see the mountains and play at the attractions in Gatlinburg, but that number is concentrated during certain times of the year with the highest numbers usual hitting in the summer. More than 11 million people every year come to see the mountains and play at the attractions in Gatlinburg, but that number is concentrated during certain times of the year with the highest numbers usual hitting in the summer.
Recent years have seen a little bit of a slump in tourism numbers, but officials in Gatlinburg say they hope they are seeing some turnaround. Recent years have seen a little bit of a slump in tourism numbers, but officials in Gatlinburg say they hope they are seeing some turnaround.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

GATLINBURG (WATE) - Every year millions of people pour into Sevier county on vacation.

More than 11 million people every year come to see the mountains and play at the attractions in Gatlinburg, but that number is concentrated during certain times of the year with the highest numbers usual hitting in the summer.

"Gatlinburg is having a great summer. We are rocking and rolling. It's July. It's peak season. We have lots of folks in town," said Marci Claude with the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Recent years have seen a little bit of a slump in tourism numbers, but officials in Gatlinburg say they hope they are seeing some turnaround.

"Our partners in town did tell us that they had a really strong spring and that they were up this spring, and that is a good sign rolling into summer," said Claude.

Sid Maples, owner of the Sidney James Mountain Lodge, says he is definitely seeing an uptick with increases as much as 10 percent from last year.

"It was just flat after the economy tanked and travel and tourism kind of went off, but it seems to have rebounded," he said.

Those are numbers he says they have not seen in nearly seven years.

"It absolutely does thrive on tourism. We're an eight hour drive from three quarters of the United States total population. I hope it's a good sign of what the economy is doing, but even if it's not regionally we're doing well," said Maples.

City officials say the official summer season numbers will not be in until later this year, but they hope the numbers reflect what business owners say they are seeing.

Pigeon Forge officials say they are also seeing increases in tourism numbers so far this year.

They say that is partly thanks to new attractions in the area like The Island.

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