Tourism experts says revival obvious

 Tuesday, October 18, 2022 


Stacy Hurst, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, has experienced good as well as bad times in the industry she looks after. She couldn’t be more contented with the return of the tourism industry in a post-pandemic world. In last year:

State parks set record visitation levels;
Visitor spending went up to $8 billion, it was a 33% increase;
Tourism tax collections went beyond $1.1 billion; and
The hospitality industry recorded 64,144 jobs, it was an increase of 23%

She said that she is really not that amazed. They had seen a drop in their collections during 2020. It was quite anticipated. She said that they did better than most of their neighboring states. So, they knew going into 2021 that they were almost certainly going to revive in a strong way because people were rushing to Arkansas. She has said before that there’s never been a better time to be the Natural State. And they all really saw that in 2021.

Hurst had appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, explained that solid marketing had helped with the revival of 2021 and she expects this year and 2023 to perform even better.

She thinks that they’ve made really good decisions in terms of their advertising and marketing. They have pulled back and they didn’t invite people from other states early in the pandemic into Arkansas.

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