Arkansas Tourism is Likely to Set a Record

 Monday, February 7, 2022 


The good news about the tourism industry of Arkansas is the 2% tourism tax is speeding up to top the $20 million mark for the first time in 2021. However, the bad news is the numbers of tourism job are 8.3% below pre-pandemic levels and hotel tax revenue still lags behind.

Between January and October, Arkansas’ 2% tourism tax revenue was $17.582 million. This was up 50% compared with the $11.72 million in same time 2020 and up 15.6% over the same period in 2019. For the tax, the 2019 collections created a record. Collections of the tax set monthly records for the six months between March and October. July set a new series record for the tax with $2.486 million in revenue from the tax.

Among 17 cities, January-October hospitality tax collections-survey for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker increased 30.1% compared with the same period in 2020. It was an up 5.6% compared with the same period in 2019, according to the Arkansas Tourism Ticker.

The tourism entered 2021 following a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed majority of the state and national economy for much of the year. In 2020, the 2% tourism tax of the state revenue dropped almost 23% and fell to levels not seen since 2014. 2019 set several records for the sector in terms of hospitality tax revenue and job gains, and marked the fifth consecutive year of growth as measured by the Arkansas Tourism Ticker.

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