In data from Longwoods International’s Travel USA study, Savannah saw strong tourism numbers in 2021 after COVID-related declines in 2020.
Visitor spending increased for Savannah and Chatham County by 4.7 percent over 2019, with $3.3 billion spent in our community for 2021. The most significant expenditures in this category include lodging, retail, and food and beverage.
“We’re pleased to see that our visitor spending numbers bounced back to eclipse all previous records, hitting $3.3 billion in 2021,” said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah. “Having strong overnight and day trip visitor numbers tells me that our post-pandemic marketing efforts were effective and on target. The Savannah/Chatham County area had what travelers were looking for to remedy their post-COVID fatigue of the last two years.”
Overnight visitation numbers bounced back from a decline in 2020 to align with previous records set in 2019. 2021 saw more than 8 million overnight stays. Savannah’s volume of day trip visitors also increased as we welcomed more than 6.9 million day-trippers in 2021. These figures represent an 8 percent increase over 2019’s numbers.
The current data indicated that 68 percent of Savannah’s overnight travelers are repeat visitors. They site Savannah and Chatham County’s shopping, sightseeing, landmarks/historical sites, and culinary experiences as the reason for return trips. The visitor’s average length of stay remains 2.5 days.
“Visit Savannah’s efforts over the last few years to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more while here appears to be working,” says Cory Jones, Chairmen of Visit Savannah’s Board of Directors. “Coupled with new nonstop flights into Savannah, a larger variety of culinary experiences, and elevated retail options, Savannah continues to be one of America’s most popular destinations.”