Up against healthy gains that began to emerge in the second half of 2015, the pace of Arkansas’ tourism industry growth has slowed but it remains on pace for record growth.
For the first eight months of 2016, hospitality collections in 17 Arkansas cities is up 3.75% compared to the same period in 2015, but down from the 5.57% growth in the first four months of the the year.
Collection of the state’s 2% tourism tax continues on a record pace with collections up 3.12%, according to The Arkansas Tourism Ticker.
In 2015, the Arkansas Tourism Ticker reported a 7.41% increase in hospitality tax revenue among 17 Arkansas cities reviewed for the report, an 8.31% increase in collections of the state’s 2% tourism tax, and a 5.04% increase in Arkansas tourism industry jobs compared to 2014.
The Arkansas Tourism Ticker is managed by Talk Business & Politics, sponsored by the Arkansas Hospitality Association, and is published every two months, or six times a year. The ticker uses the following three measurements to review the health of the state’s tourism industry.
• Hospitality tax collections – prepared food tax and lodging tax – of 17 Arkansas cities (cities listed below along with collections for each city);
• Tourism sector employment numbers as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; and
• Collections of Arkansas’ 2% statewide tourism tax.
Results for the January-August 2016 ticker report are:
• 3.75% increase
Hospitality tax revenue in January-August 2016 among 17 Arkansas cities reviewed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker
• 3.12% increase
Collections of Arkansas’ 2% statewide tourism tax during January-August 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
• 4.16% increase
Increase in Arkansas’ tourism industry jobs in January-August 2016 compared to the same period in 2015
While noting that the pace of growth has slowed, Joe David Rice, tourism director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, said he is confident the year will end higher than 2015.
“I’m hopeful October and November will be strong. As of now, though, our top 10 counties are all showing growth for CY 2016 which is a strong indicator that we should finish the year on a positive note,” Rice said.
Link here for the PDF of the January-August 2016 Arkansas Tourism Ticker.