Tennessee officials say the state saw a lesser rate of decline in tourism spending than the country as a whole in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a report from the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, Tennessee's Department of Tourist Development reports $16.8 billion in domestic and foreign travel spending for last year. This represents a decline of 31.6% from the previous year, compared with a 42% drop for the nation as a whole. The figures coincide with measures taken by Republican Gov. Bill Lee's administration to boost tourism amid the pandemic. Critics have also claimed the state isn't doing enough to combat the pandemic with this approach.