Tennessee Will Pay for 10,000 Flight Vouchers to Get You to Visit

Who doesn't love a vacation on someone else’s dime?

Natalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock
Natalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock

Tennessee is already a destination well-known for its Southern hospitality, but the state’s new Tennessee on Me program is taking that inviting vibe to a whole new level.

Over the holiday weekend, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the state’s plans to buy plane tickets for up to 10,000 visitors who plan to stay in several of its largest cities.

"The state's buying all these airline tickets and giving them away to anybody who books two nights in a hotel room to come to Tennessee, so it's 'Tennessee on me,'" Lee said in a video posted to social media alongside country music star Brad Paisley. "Tennessee on Gov. Lee," Paisley added.

Here’s how it works:

To qualify for a flight voucher, you must make reservations through the Visit Music City website with travel dates from July 11 to December 30, 2021. Your flight must also land in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, or Nashville, and it must be with a participating airline (American, Delta, or Southwest). 

While in town, those interested in the flight voucher must also book a stay at a participating hotel. Luckily, there are more than 60 hotels to choose from within the program. However, the hotel stay must also include an overnight on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. 

The other fine print here includes the fact that packages must be paid in full, and the voucher is good for one package, not per person, meaning if you’re traveling with a family of four in one package, you’ll only receive one flight voucher. 

Amanda Murphy, a spokesperson for the state’s tourism department, told the Tennessean that the aim for the program is to bolster the state’s lagging visitor numbers and help potentially spur a little travel boom.

"While much of the state is seeing pre-pandemic or higher levels of hotel occupancy, challenges remain in our big cities who still feel the loss of conventions, business, and international travel," Murphy said. 

There has been a bit of backlash for the program from local lawmakers regarding the $2.5 million in funds it was allocated, per the Tennessean. However, Sen. Bo Watson, chairman of the Senate finance committee, at least wanted to clarify that the money isn’t coming directly from Lee, despite what the jingle says.

"The people of Tennessee are inviting you to come to Tennessee, not the governor," Watson told the Tennessean. "This is not the governor's money, this is taxpayers' money."

The offer is good as long as supplies last for any stay prior to September 15. See all the fine print and book your package here.

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Stacey Leasca is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trip Advisor, Departures, Expedia, Men’s Health, and Glamour, among other publications.