NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee has unveiled a major tourism initiative to help the state rebound from the pandemic.
The "Tennessee on Me" campaign will offer 10,000 $250 airline vouchers for flights to the state's four biggest cities. Lee announced the campaign along with country music star Brad Paisley.
The vouchers will go towards the Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville airports. To be eligible, visitors will need to book a two-night stay hotel stay, which you can do on the Tennessee On Me website.
This is coming on the heels of a major tourism win for Nashville with more than 350,000 people watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
There are more than 60 hotels participating that you have to book with. One of the two days you are staying has to be Sunday through Wednesday. You get to choose between three airlines: American, Delta or Southwest. You have to book by September 15 for a stay through the end of the year.
The $2.5 million used for this is a part of Lee's budget to promote tourism.
These vouchers will be per hotel package not per person - so be aware of that if you are planning a family getaway.
Backlash to Campaign
This campaign has been met with some backlash, specifically mentioning the federal unemployment benefits that were halted by the governor three days ago.
Tennessee State Representative Gloria Johnson responded to Paisley's tweet of the campaign video saying, "I'm going to hope you didn't know he cut the unemployment lifeline to so many Tennessee families who have no idea how they will eat or pay rent after July 3, 2021, while giving money to those outside our state."
I’m going to hope you didn’t know he cut the unemployment lifeline to so many TN families who have no idea how they will eat or pay rent after 7/3/21 while giving money to those outside our state. Before he hoodwinks you again, feel free to call me first, 865-660-9800.— Gloria Johnson (@VoteGloriaJ) July 5, 2021
As of July 3, the following benefits ended:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which is that extra $300 a week.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance -- which helped a lot of gig workers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation -- which extended benefits.
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.