‘Indianapolis is open again’: Mayor Hogsett announces $1M tourism advertising campaign

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A million-dollar shot in the arm is on the way for Indianapolis business owners, and industries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. It will be a statewide advertising campaign.

That advertising campaign is called “You have earned it” and its purpose is to bring people back to Indianapolis and encourage tourism.

Ben Diallo’s menswear stores were closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The last few months have been very difficult for us,” said Ben Diallo, owner of J Benzal Menswear.

Most of his shops are open now.

“We are excited to have people back and have all of our patrons back in our businesses,” he said.

Wednesday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the $1 million advertising campaign. The money for the campaign comes from federal Coronavirus relief funds. And the goal of the campaign is to push travel back to Indianapolis and get the city’s tourism industry humming again.

“The city will be delivering a message that ensures Hoosiers of one thing, primarily. The cultural, the culinary, and the live music capital of the state is open and here for them,” said Hogsett.

Hogsett said usually Indy hotels are at 70% occupancy this time of year. But, the coronavirus pandemic knocked hotel occupancy down to 7%.

Starting this week, many Indianapolis hotels will offer up to 50% off for Indiana residents.

“We know that for every hotel room night stay, we’ll have $500 or more visitor spending in the capital city. That’s a significant amount of money that can be re-invested in restaurants, retailers, attractions,” said Leonard Hoops, president of Visit Indy.

Several states, including Indiana, have paused or rolled back their reopening plans.

“We continue to monitor. Look, so far, so good. You’re absolutely right. When you see what’s happening in other parts of the country, you’re constantly monitoring and very weary,” said Hogsett.

Hoosiers will start to see the ad campaigns on television and online as well as hear them on the radio beginning next week.