MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state, the city of Manhattan is starting to see an increase in tourism activity. Although numbers have not bounced back completely, city leaders said they are seeing an increase in outdoor activities.

The city hosted the King Kat fishing tournament over the weekend at Tuttle Creek reservoir. The city will also host a large marathon and bike race in September. Karen Hibbard is the Vice President of Visit Manhattan. She said she believes being located in the Flint Hills has been an asset during the pandemic.

“We always welcome visitors,” Hibbard said. “But now what we know is happening is people have that opportunity to explore maybe some paths and trails, some competition that they maybe haven’t done before.”

Hibbard said they have seen an increase in both phone calls and web traffic recently.

“There’s an awful lot of inquires checking out wanting to receive materials so that when they do feel that it’s safe for them to travel that they’ll know exactly what they want to experience,” Hibbard said.

The City of Manhattan was going through a rebuilding phase in regards to tourism before the pandemic. Earlier this year, the Manhattan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau was hosting small group discussions in hopes to find more ways to bring sports and music events to the area.

Those are currently on hold, but Visit Manhattan has a calendar of events that are happening in the near future.