Visitors to Williamson County reached a record high in 2019, according to the latest data from Visit Franklin, which said 1.81 million visitors came to the area last year, marking an increase of 5.23% from 2018’s 1.72 million visitors.

“Year after year it is the charming appeal of Franklin and all the communities of Williamson County that continue to attract visitors here from across the world,” Visit Franklin President and CEO Ellie Westman Chin said in a release. “We work daily with incredible hospitality partners and local leaders who together help create an environment that is welcoming to visitors who want to explore what residents get to love and enjoy here every day.”

Visit Franklin attributes the rise in growth in part to the increase of hotel rooms that came with the addition of the Harpeth Hotel in Franklin along with three other hotel properties throughout Williamson County.

Additionally, Visit Franklin attributes a rise in tourism demand for the area to the city of Franklin being featured in various national publications in the past, including Oprah Magazine, Forbes and Reader’s Digest.

“With the success we have had in recent years, it is clear that Franklin and all the communities of Williamson County are already on the mind of many travelers,” Westman Chin said. "National research is also showing people will be looking more for drivable and smaller destinations for their first trips back [after social distancing due to the coronavirus] which bodes well for us in terms of recovering more quickly and getting tourism back to the levels of positive local impact we’ve seen in recent years.”

Data related to visitor counts and the economic impact of tourism released by Visit Franklin comes from travel research company D.K. Shifflet & Associates as well as the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, according to the release from Visit Franklin.