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Gold record: Memphis in tourism boom, as Aussies flock to music city

As Elvis: A Musical Revolution hits the stage in Sydney, Australians are travelling in record numbers to the US metropolis synonymous with his life, Memphis.

As Elvis: A Musical Revolution hits the stage in Sydney, Australians are travelling in record numbers to the US metropolis synonymous with his life, Memphis.

In 2022, over 11 million visitors called on the music city, and like a guitarist in a well-oiled blues band, Australian travellers played their part, accounting for the second-largest tourism market outside of North America.

With an all-time-high 4 million hotel rooms sold throughout the year, Memphis is now experiencing a remarkable boom in its accommodation sector.

A report by Memphis Tourism found that the city’s centre was an especially popular spot, with the number of rooms sold in the downtown area the highest it’s been for more than 10 years.

But it seems the whole city is turning it on.

Beale Street Memphis CVO 2231
Memphis, Tennessee

On account of this huge demand, Memphis currently has nearly 50 hotel projects in the works, nearing 7,000 rooms either under construction or in the pipeline through 2026.

Some confirmed projects include the soon-to-be-opened Grand Hyatt in the One Beale development, the first Tempo by Hilton hotel and the first of Marriott’s Aloft Hotels in Downtown.

Givin’ it up for Memphis

Memphis Tourism Australia Director Chris Ingram told Karryon that “interest in the city is showing no signs of slowing”. 

“This is evidenced by some of the world’s biggest hotel brands continuing to invest in the destination and there are currently 49 hotel projects in the pipeline including the likes Grand Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott,” he said.  

Chris Ingram Memphis
Memphis Tourism’s Chris Ingram

“Memphis remains a top destination for Australians and Kiwis, with Australia representing the second biggest market outside of North America. 

“The continually changing face of the city combined with its historical significance and fascinating musical history makes it a place that people want to revisit rather than just ticking it off a ‘once in a lifetime’ destination.

“With over 6,800 new rooms set to be available by 2026, the city of Memphis continues to grow in order to welcome its ever growing legion of global fans. 

“From music to food to history to great fun for every kind of traveller, Memphis truly does offer something for everyone.”

A conversation about Memphis, like a visit to the city, starts and ends with music – here’s what Ingram recommends Australians experience in the city.

Earlier this year, Memphis Tourism held events in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the city. Read our wrap of the events here.