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Marketing the city: Visit Knoxville using federal dollars to boost tourism amid pandemic

The nonprofit organization is using more than $500,000 to drive tourism up in a COVID-19 friendly way!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Visit Knoxville is working to drive tourism up in the city in a safe way by launching a new campaign. 

The company's full campaign, "For the love of Knoxville, travel safely," is modeled after the state's campaign. 

It's what Visit Knoxville is spending more than $500,000 on from CARES Act funds.  

The nonprofit hopes the initiative will help draw in more visitors and help them feel safe as they explore the city and participate in outdoor activities. The company hopes this will also help local businesses that are struggling get through the year. 

Kim Bumpas, the president of Visit Knoxville, said Knoxville's tourism rates have already been higher than many other states across the United States.

"We're already seeing an influx of that getaway traveler wanting to come to Knoxville to get out of their house for a few days and experience something different in a safe way," Bumpas said. "This money will go to enhance that and bring those numbers even higher." 

The campaign will run through the end of December. 

A portion of the federal dollars will also be used to make enhancements to the Knoxville Visitors Center so tourists have the resources they need to make the most out of their trip.

There are a number of virtual and seasonal events the city is hosting this year. 

You can find the calendar of events here