Arkansas Tourism Releases 2021 Economic Impact Report; state is experiencing significant growth | New

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The 2021 Economic Impact Report has been released by Arkansas Tourism and there is good news for the natural state.

According to data released by the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, Arkansas’ tourism industry saw a record number of visits in 2021.

The report said Arkansas welcomed just over 41 million visitors in 2021, compared to 29.2 million in 2020 and 36.3 million in 2019.

This means the state has recovered from the significant decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information provided by the report was released at the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s annual convention in Little Rock.

“Arkansas’ nickname, The Natural State, has helped the tourism industry weather the challenges of the past few years,” said Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst. . “These numbers illustrate that Arkansas is in the midst of a turning point in public perception regarding our national profile as a tourist destination. Together, we can maintain this strong momentum as we head into 2023 and beyond. -of the.”

Key findings of the report include:

Visitor spending, visitor-funded jobs, and business sales generated $1.1 billion in tax revenue that supports local, state, and federal government operations. State and local taxes alone topped $653 million in 2021.

Visitation to Arkansas National Parks increased 23% from its pre-pandemic 2019 level to just under four million visits, while hunting and fishing licenses issued to non-nationals -residents more than doubled compared to 2019.

In 2021, jobs supported by tourism accounted for 5.6% of all jobs in Arkansas.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of tourism jobs in Arkansas were lost in 2020. The recovery in travel in 2021 welcomed a return in tourism jobs, which reached 95% of their 2019 level.

Employment recovery in key industries in 2021 has been strong, reaching 98% of pre-pandemic levels in the restaurant industry, 96% in leisure businesses and 89% in accommodation.

Every household in Arkansas is expected to be taxed an additional $759 to replace visitor-generated taxes received by Arkansas state and local governments in 2021.

Average room rates at hotels across the state increased 13%.

“It’s satisfying to see these numbers and to know that we are meeting our goal of improving our state’s economy,” Arkansas Tourism Director Travis Napper said. “Not only that, we have the great privilege of sharing the scenic beauty, authentic culture and unique wonder of The Natural State.”

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