Arkansas Tourism Ticker: Tourism tax revenue up 5.7% in first six months of 2019

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 314 views 

There is no recession in Arkansas’ travel and tourism industry. The sector continues to see gains in growth, with the state’s 2% tourism tax revenue between January and June up 5.7% compared with the same period in 2018.

January-June hospitality tax collections among 17 cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker were up 4.7% compared with the same period in 2018. That’s also better than the 4% gain among the cities during the first four months of 2019.

Numbers from the first half of 2019 are up against broad gains in 2018. Collections of Arkansas’ 2% tourism set a new record in 2018 and hospitality tax collections among 17 Arkansas cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism ticker topped the $50 million mark in 2018. The year marked the fourth consecutive year of growth as measured by the Arkansas Tourism Ticker.

The Arkansas Tourism Ticker is managed by Talk Business & Politics, and sponsored by the Arkansas Hospitality Association. 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 Jan.-June 2019 Tourism Ticker report are:
• 4.7% increase
Hospitality tax revenue in Jan.-June 2019 among 17 Arkansas cities reviewed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker compared with the same period in 2018

• 5.7% increase
Collections of Arkansas’ 2% statewide tourism tax in Jan.-June 2019 compared with the same period in 2018

• 3.5% increase
Increase in monthly average of Arkansas’ tourism industry jobs in Jan.-June 2019 compared with the same period in 2018

The combined hospitality tax collections in the 17 cities totaled $26.692 million in Jan.-June 2019, up 4.7% compared with the $25.492 million in the same period in 2018.

Restaurant (prepared food tax) tax collections among the 17 cities totaled $19.731 million in Jan.-June 2019, up 4.2% compared with the $18.939 million in the same period of 2018. Hotel tax collections among the 17 cities totaled $6.96 million in Jan.-June 2019, up 6.2% compared with the $6.552 million in the same period of 2018.

Of the 17 cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker, four posted hospitality tax collection declines for the first six months (Eureka Springs, down 4.7%; Harrison, down 2.5%; Pine Bluff, down 7.88%; and Russellville, down 8.5%). Of the 13 cities with gains, the range was a 22.4% gain in El Dorado and a 2.6% gain in Conway.

Link here for a PDF of the complete Jan.-June 2019 Arkansas Tourism Ticker.

You can watch a video of Arkansas Hospitality Association executive director Montine McNulty discussing the latest results in the video below.

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