Governors’ Tourism Promotion Draws Legislator’s Scorn
A tourism promotion announced by Governor Bill Lee and singer Brad Paisley over the 4th of July weekend blindsided some of Tennessee’s lawmakers. The promotion which offers 10,000 free airline ticket vouchers to fly into four key airports in the state…Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville…uses taxpayer funds to pay for those vouchers. Legislators were evidently taken by surprise by the July 4 announcement of state funds being used to pay for tourists’ airfare…as neither Lt. Gov. Randy McNally nor House Speaker Cameron Sexton were aware of the details of the promotion prior to its launch. McNally said It is troubling that the promotion is limited to the major cities,” as he pointed out that “At least two of those cities exacerbated the economic crisis by instituting overly aggressive lockdown policies.”
McNally said he plans to ask Lee’s office and the Department of Tourist Development to in the future provide more details during the budget process about their initiatives.
This current promotion…announced over the weekend will provide the first 10,000 people to book two-night stays at hotels in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga with $250 airline vouchers if they reserve their accommodations through TennesseeOnMe.com. Numerous legislators believe the program needed to focus on the harder hit rural areas of the state instead of the major cities.