International Visitors to Flood Arizona After Borders Reopen

Arizona-Mexico border

Arizona’s businesses are soon to get a shot in the arm from COVID-19 vaccinated international visitors as the U.S. reopens its borders to leisure travel. 

The Biden administration will reopen the country’s borders Monday for nonessential travel. The opening marks 18 months of borders closed to nonessential travel because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

The decision was announced in October. It does not apply to illegal border crossings.

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Tennessee Valley Authority and United States Wildlife Service Continue Trout Stocking Program

Trout swimming in water

In Bristol, Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the United States Wildlife Services have agreed to continue the popular trout stocking program. The program focuses on funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have been providing both the state of Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout. 

The programs funding for the hatcheries began in 2013, witch have been managed by “the Service,” consisting of Dale Hollow and Erwin in Tennessee, and Chattahoochee Forest in Georgia. After the Service, the fish are then put into these main rivers and reservoirs: Apalachia (Hiwassee River), Blue Ridge, Boone, Cherokee, Fort Patrick Henry, Normandy, Norris, South Holston, Tims Ford and Wilbur. Trout-stocked reservoirs in the plan include Fort Patrick Henry, South Holston, Parksville, Watauga and Wilbur reservoirs.

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Tennessee Tourism Spending Dropped by More than 30 Percent in 2020

Tourism spending in Tennessee dropped in 2020 for the first time in 10 years, according to data from the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.

Tennessee tourism spending fell 31.6%, less than the 42% decline nationally.

Within that decline was a 78.7% drop in spending from international visitors during a year that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, according to a report compiled by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

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800 Virginia Businesses Back Tourism, Hospitality Relief in Budget

More than 800 businesses and business associations are jointly urging the Virginia General Assembly to approve a budget item for $291 million in relief to the travel and hospitality industries, which was proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Northam’s proposal would appropriate funds from the federally passed American Rescue Plan to help these industries bounce back from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet on Aug. 2 to consider the budget proposal.

The businesses and business associations signed a joint letter showing their support. It includes the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association.

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Ducey Invests Millions of Federal Dollars to Start Visit Arizona Initiative

Three people on bikes in Arizona during sundown

Gov. Doug Ducey is investing $101.1 million from the federal American Rescue Plan funding to launch the Visit Arizona Initiative to increase tourism spending in Arizona and expedite its economic recovery. 

“Tourism is essential for Arizona’s booming economy and job growth,” Ducey said in a release. 

He said that when tourists stay at Arizona hotels, eat at restaurants, buy Arizona products, and partake in the state’s recreational activities, Arizona’s economy booms.

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Tennessee to Use Taxpayer Funds to Pay Out-of-State Tourists to Visit

In an attempt to continue the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the state of Tennessee will utilize an unprecedented marketing effort — paying out-of-state tourists to travel to the state.

The program, initiated by Governor Bill Lee and dubbed “Tennessee on Me,” will grant $250 airline vouchers to any individual who travels to Tennessee’s largest cities and stays at least two nights.

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Florida Braces for Booming, Banging Return to July 4th ‘Normal’

fireworks

Independence Day 2020 was a lackluster affair for many, made all the sadder by attempts to celebrate July 4 amid pandemic-induced isolation without the parades, public firework shows and other communal and family gatherings that traditionally accompany the summer holiday.

The city of Miami and others staged “virtual fireworks displays” and at least 60 Florida communities made attempts to stage public events, including socially distanced parades, but with about 80% of traditional observations canceled, July 4, 2020, was nothing to celebrate.

Not so for July 4, 2021.

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Disney Posts 4Q Loss as Parks Business, Costs Drag Results

Walt Disney Co. reported fiscal fourth-quarter loss on Thursday thanks largely to changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its earnings were dragged by costs from restructuring related to its streaming services and lost revenue from its California theme parks, which remain closed amid surging coronavirus cases in the U.S.

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Metro Council Member at-Large Steve Glover Talks About Metro Government’s Determination to Destroy Nashville and Cooper’s Plummeting Approval Rating

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Council Member-At-Large Steve Glover to the studio to discuss the now unpopular Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

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Desperate David Briley Punches Down, Criticizes Nashville Tea Party’s Opposition to Property Tax Increase

On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and special guest Ben Cunnigham – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy and Cunningham talked about Cunningham’s recent Tweets stating that he would hold John Cooper accountable to his implied commitments to the reallocation of Davidson County funds and not raising property taxes.

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