Arkansas Tourism

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As Arkansas motorists count down the days to the Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the summer driving season, pump prices are peaking at their highest level so far in 2016.

Gov.'s Radio Column: Queen Wilhelmina State Park

Apr 16, 2016
Gov. Hutchinson outdoors
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of April 15, 2016:

  As governor, no day is typical. I work with the legislature, pursue economic development opportunities, listen to the concerns of citizens and meet people from every corner of the state. I love my job, but sometimes it’s nice to get out of the office and enjoy the Natural State.

Gov.'s Radio Column: Tourism In Arkansas

Mar 19, 2016
Governor Asa Hutchinson radio address
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of March 18, 2016:

Earlier this week, I attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Springdale. I had the chance to talk about the growing strength and importance of our state’s tourism industry.

Governor's Conference on Tourism 2016
http://www.arkansas.com

Arkansas's second-largest industry continues to grow and become even stronger. That according to state leaders meeting at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

The state's tourism revenue grew 7.7% last year.

According to the state Department of Parks and Tourism, 28 million visitors spent around $7.2 billion, and the Department says it predicts even better numbers for this year.

Great Arkansas Cleanup Keep Arkansas Beautiful
Keep Arkansas Beautiful

Spring cleaning isn’t just for our homes. March first is the beginning of the three-month Great Arkansas Cleanup, when volunteers will shake out the rugs for out-of-state visitors.

“It is absolutely essential for tourists to get a good impression of Arkansas when they come to visit,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager for Keep Arkansas Beautiful, which is part of the state Department of Parks and Tourism.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower
www.hotspringstips.com

A new operator has been selected for the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.

The Sentinel-Record reports that Ortega National Park LLC of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will operate the tower through a subsidiary.

This will be the first time that the observation tower won't be operated by the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Sandy Poole with the National Park Service's Midwest Regional Office says the transition of operations from the commission to Ortega will happen over the next few months and may be completed in early March.

The Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame says it will induct two new members in March.

The group said Monday that it would add Montine McNulty, the executive director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, and Bill Worthen, the director of the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Ceremonies are set for March 14 during the 42nd annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

McNulty helped promote tourism-related bills during the last quarter-century, including a 2 percent tourism tax and a one-eighth-cent conservation tax.

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is getting its first new executive director in 25 years. Kane Webb was named to the post by Governor Asa Hutchinson on Thursday to succeed Richard Davies.

Webb is a former journalist and native Arkansan. He also comes straight from the governor’s office. Webb credits his background in communication and journalism as preparing him to promote the state’s destinations. The previous parks and tourism head also studied journalism before entering the department.

Collections for the Arkansas tourism trust fund continue their steady increase, according to a report given to the Arkansas Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Collections for the 2% tourism tax for July were $1.656 million, up 14.83% compared to the same month in 2014.

Year to date collections are up 7.85%

The tourism trust fund tax is usually considered one of the most reliable indicators of the health tourism industry. The 2% tax on hotels and an assortment of other hospitality services is used as the measure for how many people are traveling in Arkansas.

Gov. Address: Biking The Natural State

Oct 10, 2015
Governor's Radio Address
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson's media address for the weekend of Oct. 9, 2015:

I love the outdoors. As the summer weather winds down and the fall leaves turn, there’s no better place to be than right here in Arkansas. We’re known as the Natural State for a reason. Our moderate year-round climate and stunning landscape are perfect for outdoor activities, especially biking on one of our scenic trails.

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