FRANKLIN, Tennessee – The Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, known publicly as Visit Franklin, announces its celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week by highlighting the profound impact of tourism throughout Williamson County. In conjunction with this celebration, Visit Franklin is excited to unveil the remodeled Visitor Center in downtown Franklin and offer engaging community events. National Travel and Tourism Week is scheduled from May 19-25.

“Tourism remains a cornerstone of Williamson County’s economy, boasting a staggering $1.19 billion in direct visitor spending in 2022 alone,” stated Maureen Thornton, President and CEO of Visit Franklin. “This vital industry not only bolsters our economy as visitors spend $3.28 million per day in our community but also significantly reduces the tax burden for every household in Williamson County by an average of $1,522.”

Thornton emphasized, “Beyond its economic contributions, tourism also plays a pivotal role in employment, providing livelihoods for over 8,300 individuals within our county. As we observe National Travel and Tourism Week, we celebrate not only the remarkable statistics but also the diverse stories and experiences that make Williamson County a premier destination for visitors.”

The public is cordially invited to a community open house from 4 – 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, to experience the newly renovated Visitor Center on Fourth Avenue in downtown Franklin. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the revamped space, enjoy live music, and savor complimentary treats from local establishments such as Hattie B’s, Whitney’s Cookies, and Triple Crown Bakery, along with beverages from Stable Reserve, Curio Brewing Company, and Morning Glory Orchard.

The revitalized visitor center boasts an inviting design featuring interactive displays, updated information on county-wide attractions, branded merchandise, and more. Additionally, guests will discover that the Visitor Center serves not only out-of-town visitors but also locals seeking information about local entertainment, unique gifts, or simply a place to unwind.

It was important that the design honor the familiarity and spirit of Williamson County by highlighting materials, like salvaged wood, that people will recognize from the original Visitor Center. Fresh colors and fixtures are layered over this foundation, resulting in a space that is familiar to locals and welcoming to new visitors,” explained Jesse Brown, Principal of Design Object, the firm tasked with the new design. 

To celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week, Visit Franklin partnered with the Battle of Franklin Trust to offer a complimentary visitor experience at Carnton, one of Williamson County’s most visited attractions. From 9 – 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, guests can enjoy complimentary donuts and coffee before embarking on a private house tour of Carnton led by historian and Battle of Franklin Trust CEO Eric Jacobson.

Thornton expressed her excitement, stating, “We extend a warm invitation to the community for the grand opening of our new visitor center in downtown Franklin and encourage them to experience one of our most beloved attractions right here in their backyard.”

Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition celebrating the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. Locally, Visit Franklin’s impact extends across Williamson County as it celebrates the hospitality and tourism industry’s growth and positive impact. 

In addition to experiencing the Visitor Center open house and the exclusive tour of Carnton during National Travel & Tourism Week, residents are encouraged to experience one of the many new attractions across the county that have opened or been renovated in recent months. The Factory at Franklin continues to add new shops, restaurants, and events as it nears the completion of its renovation. The much-anticipated 250-acre Peacock Hill Nature Park in College Grove is now open, as is the acclaimed History & Culture Center of Williamson County. 

Residents are also encouraged to mark their calendars for upcoming signature events and notable anniversary milestones, such as the 10th Annual Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, the 20th Annual Williamson County Fair, and the 225th founding anniversary for both the city of Franklin and Williamson County. 

ABOUT VISIT FRANKLIN Visit Franklin is the public brand name of the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Visit Franklin is the official destination marketing organization for Franklin and the unique communities of Williamson County, Tennessee. Visit Franklin stimulates economic growth by promoting travel and tourism assets such as history, music, attractions, entertainment, the arts, and events to visitors worldwide. For information on Franklin and Williamson County, visit us on the web at

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Matt is the guy who is always ready to share a story with you.

With a passion for new experiences, taking the back roads, and seeing everything possible, Matt serves as Visit Franklin's Senior Director of Public Relations connecting the many unique stories in the Franklin community with great journalists and storytellers worldwide. When not pitching a story idea to travel writers, you’ll likely find him working as a photographer on the sidelines of college and professional sports events across the Southeast.