Tennessee spent $11K on influencers for airfare promo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee paid thousands of dollars for social media influencers to promote a contentious new initiative that uses $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars to offer flight vouchers largely to out-of-state residents.

According to documents obtained through a public records request, the Department of Tourist Development paid an estimated $11,000 to at least 11 local influencers to post on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok touting the new program. Emails show the state had originally budgeted $30,000 for influencers.

To date, the state has spent more than $230,000 out of its $270,000 tourism marketing budget to advertise the program online. Republican leaders and Democratic lawmakers have both questioned why tax dollars are being spent on tourists’ airfare.

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI and JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press

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Categories: Regional News, State News-Tennessee