What is MMAA?

The Metro Memphis Attractions Association is a professional organization that celebrates and supports the world class attractions community in the Greater Memphis, TN,  area. 

With monthly networking meetings, educational opportunities, and statewide hospitality and tourism updates, membership in the MMAA is a valuable tool for attractions, hospitality entities, and service providers to the industry.

Learn more about our members, consider joining us, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Upcoming events

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  • December 02, 2022 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    The Bluff City's reputation as an international tourism destination has been reconfirmed for 2023 travelers.

    Condé Nast Traveler named Memphis one of the global “23 Best Places to Go in 2023” and “23 Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2023.”

    “Nashville claims a lot of national buzz, but the city of Memphis has been quietly reshaping itself to be the hottest destination in Tennessee,” Kelsey Ogletree wrote in the Conde’ Nast Traveler piece. “Over the past decade, its downtown has invested billions in revitalization projects — and now, visitors can begin reaping the benefits.”

    Along with the central California coast, Memphis was one of only two destinations in America featured in the international list, which covers 22 countries and six continents. The annual list is selected from a group of well-traveled editors and writers who provide insight to readers what places they may want to go to over the next 12 months.

    Among the highlights from the publications and reasons why Memphis was among the listed as a potential global and domestic travel destination next year included the $61 million redesigned Tom Lee Park, expected to be completed in mid-2023; and the 2022 opening of hotel properties such as the $41 million, 136-room Caption by Hyatt at One Beale — which was the first Caption built in the U.S. and the world — and the $24 million, 106-room Memphian at Overton Square.

    Condé Nast Traveler has a 16 million digital unique users, 16 million social followers, and 5 million monthly print readers.

    The PR team at Memphis Tourism — the official destination marketing arm for Shelby County — worked with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to highlight the progress taking place in the city to the Condé Nast Travelereditorial department.

    “This is an accolade that celebrates our city and destination. Recognized and endorsed by a global brand such as Condé Nast Traveleris an incredible honor and speaks not only to the strength of our music and culinary scene, but to the tremendous investment in tourism infrastructure that has taken place here in the Home of Blues, Soul, and Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism, said in a press release. “Tourism is an economic engine for our community, and the Memphis destination continues to outperform the national recovery rate in hotel room night demand and has outperformed pre-pandemic levels of 2019 during several months in 2022.”

    Memphis received 10.7 million visitors in 2021, with a local economic impact of nearly $4 billion dollars from visitor spending at hotels, restaurants, attractions, and retailers. That mark still lagged from the record-breaking 12.4 million visitors in 2019.

    According to economic impact data on Tennessee tourism for 2021, Shelby County generated $3.4 billion in direct visitor spending. Of that total, $1.17 billion went to food and beverage; $826 million to transportation; $544 million for accommodations; and $466 million in retail spending. The report found that nearly 24,000 Shelby County jobs were directly tied to visitor spending, as well as $1.03 billion in direct labor income.

    This isn’t Memphis' first time receiving prominent recognition as a tourist destination.

    The city was previously touted in Time magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” in 2021, Forbes’ “25 Best Places to visit in 2020,” Frommer’s Best Places to Go” in 2019, and Fodor’s “Go List” in 2018.


  • April 26, 2022 3:42 PM | Shirley Davis Conner (Administrator)
    by Kim Halyak

    The 7th Annual Cooper-Young Garden Walk is May 21-22, 2022, from 9-4pm. Our 2-day event showcases 100+ imaginative, diverse gardens to tour, 23 educational booths, 23 garden vendors, and 5 musicians. Attendees can visit for a few hours or see all the gardens over the weekend.

    Visitors love our garden walk not only because of Cooper-Young's quirky, eclectic gardens but because of its unique location in the heart of Midtown Memphis, home to historic architecture, robust community pride, trendy shops, thriving restaurants, diversity, art, and culture.

    After taking in the gardens (self-guided tour), visitors can nourish themselves at Cooper-Young's 25 award winning restaurants and breweries, many which will offer discounts to our garden walk attendees.

    Visitors can walk, bike, drive or take the Backbeat Tour shuttle to the gardens along tree-lined streets, now a nationally registered arboretum.  It's easy to experience what is fast becoming the best and largest urban garden walk in the South.

    Tickets and information here: https://www.cooperyounggardenclub.org/store/

Our members

The mission of the Metro Memphis Attractions Association is the betterment, growth and development of attractions within the Mid-South region's tourism industry.

Meet Executive Director Shirley Davis Conner

Shirley Davis Conner has proudly served as MMAA's Executive Director since October 2020.   A native Memphian, Shirley has been in the Memphis hospitality industry since college, although she's not saying exactly how long ago that was!  After starting out as a front desk clerk at a local hotel, she moved into reservations and then on to hotel sales before spending 28 years with Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley.  Shirley loves to travel and is always happy to have the opportunity to promote the entire Mid-South region and specifically MMAA members, wherever she roams.      

Have a question for Shirley?  Send her an email at MMAAnews@gmail.com.

2024 MMAA Board of Directors

President:  Meagan May, Backbeat Tours

Immediate Past President:  Michael Todd, America's Incredible Pizza Company

Vice President:  Lori Huffstutler, The Guesthouse at Graceland

Secretary:  Britney Boswell Moore, Memphis Zoo

Treasurer:  Ashley Carver, Town of Collierville

Member at Large:  John Paciera, TravelHost Magazine

Member at Large:  Cole Early, Overton Park Shell

Member at Large:  Candiss Pitre, Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Appointee:  Marty Marbry 

Memphis Tourism Appointee:  Grace White

Soul of Memphis by Kelvin Baldwin

Hear from our Members:

"Through my involvement in MMAA over the past 25 years, I have gained a countless number of tourism industry friends and have built professional relationships that would not have been possible without MMAA."

 - Michael Todd, America's Incredible Pizza Company

"As someone who entered the tourism/hospitality industry having had no previous experience, and then moving quickly into a management role within the industry, MMAA has helped me learn the ins and outs of the business and introduced me to people who have become not only invaluable colleagues, but also great friends! The monthly meetings cover topics that help us all keep our fingers on the pulse of Memphis tourism and global tourism as a whole. "

- Meagan May, Backbeat Tours

"The MMAA has been a tremendous avenue to network with the decision makers in the tourism industry in Memphis.  The informative monthly meetings and timely insider updates have helped me build my business as well as forecast future opportunities."           

- Dena Ferrell Nance, Entretech Solutions

Copyright 2022 by Entretech Solutions for Metro Memphis Attractions Association.
MMAA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 2162, Memphis, TN  38101.  Email:  MMAAnews@Gmail.com

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