It’s not rocket growth, but it’s growth nonetheless.
Arkansas’ 2% tourism collections garnered $9.351 million during the first nine months of 2011, up 3.45% compared to $9.039 million during the 2010 period.
During October, the tax generated $1.089 million, up 7.5% compared to October 2010.
For all of 2010, the tax generated $11.492 million, up 0.99% compared to 2009. The collections were off the 2008 high of $12.005 million.
The state’s tourism sector — Leisure & Hospitality jobs — employed an estimated 104,500 during October, up compared to the 103,200 in September, and unchanged from October 2010.
Tourism officials are optimistic that 2011 will end the year on a high note and position 2012 for more growth. In particular, they point to the November opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville as a major new attraction for the state. As many as 250,000 visitors are expected to tour the museum annually.
Michael Tilley with our content partner, The City Wire, contributed to this report. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.