Arkansas Tourism Ticker: Tourism tax up 7.2% in 2019; average monthly job growth up 4.4%

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 313 views 

Arkansas’ 2% tourism tax revenue in 2019 was up 7.2% compared with the same period in 2018. June and July were the first two months the collection was above $1.8 million, and each month in 2019 set a new record for collections in that month.

The tax generated $17.608 million for the year, above the $16.428 million in 2018, and up an impressive 53.2% from a decade ago in 2010.

Hospitality tax collections among 17 cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker were up 5.2% in 2019 compared with 2018. The 2019 figures 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. 2019 marks the fifth 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 2019 Tourism Ticker report are:
• 5.2% increase
Hospitality tax revenue among 17 Arkansas cities reviewed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker compared with 2018

• 7.2% increase
Collections of Arkansas’ 2% statewide tourism tax in 2019 compared with 2018

• 4.4% increase
Increase in monthly average of Arkansas’ tourism industry jobs in 2019 compared with 2018

The combined hospitality tax collections in the 17 cities totaled $53.49 million in 2019, up 5.2% compared with the $50.487 million in 2018, and up 2.36% compared with the $49.319 million in 2017. Of the 17 cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker, only two posted hospitality tax collection declines for the first six months (Pine Bluff, down 2.5%; and Russellville, down 1.8%). Of the 15 cities with gains, the range was a 12.1% gain in El Dorado and a 1.13% gain in Eureka Springs.

Link here for a PDF of the complete Arkansas Tourism Ticker.

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