Arkansas Tourism Tax Collections Up 6.5%

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 124 views 

Collections of Arkansas’ 2% tourism tax during the first four months of 2014 totaled $3.96 million, up 6.5% compared to the $3.716 million during the same period of 2013.

The 2% tourism tax set a record in 2013 by reaching $12.716 million, and Richard Davies, the state’s tourism chief, predicted 2014 would be even better for Arkansas’ tourism and travel sector. March and April set records for collections of the state’s tourism tax for the months.

The 2013 collections were up 2.5% compared to the $12.405 million in 2012, and well ahead of the $11.378 million slump in 2009 when national economic conditions proved tough on Arkansas’ tourism industry.


The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported June 27 that travel and tourism spending in the U.S. fell 1% in the first quarter after a 4.5% increase during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Real spending in the “recreation and entertainment” category dropped 11.2% during the quarter after posting a 0.9% gain in the fourth quarter of 2013. Real spending in the “food services and drinking places” category fell 3.5% in the first quarter after rising 7.4% in the fourth quarter.

The BEA report also included the following:

• Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated, increasing 2.1% in the first quarter of 2014 after increasing 2.7% (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2013;

• Total tourism-related spending was $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2014. It consisted of $873.1 billion (58%) of direct tourism spending and $625.7 billion (42%) of indirect tourism-related spending; and

• Total tourism-related employment was 7.7 million jobs in the first quarter of 2014 and consisted of 5.4 million (71%) direct tourism jobs and 2.3 million (29%) indirect tourism-related jobs.