Travel South gets a big lift from Canada

As visitor arrivals increase to the 12 states that comprise the Southeast region of the United States, so too are the transportation options that provide more gateways for travellers.

International tourism arrivals to the US Southeast are outpacing visitor numbers posted by the nation as a whole, which is averaging about 76% of pre-pandemic 2019 international visitations. In contrast, international arrivals to the U.S. Southeast have reached 105% of the 2019 totals as of October this year.

In lockstep with these numbers are a growing slate of transportation options and gateways to the region, which were reviewed during the Travel South USA International Showcase last week in Memphis, TN., reports Press Today’s Ted Davis.

Amongst these is a new schedule of non-stop flights by Air Canada to St. Louis, Missouri from Montreal-Trudeau International, which will operate in the spring/summer of 2024. The schedule will start on May 2, connecting YUL to STL with one flight per day. Air Canada will use a Bombardier CRJ 900 regional jet under its Air Canada Express brand.

Air Canada has also announced that it will initiate a schedule of flights to Charleston, SC (CHS) from Toronto Pearson on a seasonal basis, starting in March 2024. The new flights will operate daily from YYZ, starting on March 28. Also, the frequency of flights by Air Canada to Nashville (BNA) will increase from one flight per day to two this year.

WestJet has also announced new schedules to the region, with the news that it will operate flights from Edmonton to both Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA. The flights to Nashville will start May 2 and operate twice-weekly on a seasonal basis, while the Atlanta flights will fly daily, on a year-round basis when they launche on April 29.

As well, the British Airways connection to Nashville from London, England has recently increased in seat capacity. The Nashville International Airport announced that BA will be using a larger aircraft on its daily flights to London, with a B777-200ER aircraft assigned to the route. That will increase the number of seats on the trip from 214 to 272. BA says demand for flights to and from the Middle Tennessee region are at an all-time high.

And finally, Icelandair has announced that its services to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina from Reykjavik, which were initially seasonal, will now operate on a year-round basis through the winter of 2024.

The 12 states that populate the US Southeast region are Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. They are collectively represented by the Travel South USA organization.



The Tennessee Mass Choir delivered a rousing concert to open the Travel South USA International Showcase.


Mark Ezell, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, welcomed delegates to Memphis.


The marquee at a theatre on famous Beale Street that hosted the opening night party, dubbed “Music That Makes Memphis.”


Graceland, the one-time home of Elvis Presley, is one of the top tourism attractions in Memphis and now anchors an expansive museum