Arkansas Tourism Ticker: Tax revenue, jobs point to continued industry gains

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 686 views 

Healthy gains to begin 2023 for the state’s leisure and hospitality (tourism) sector are continuing. Arkansas’ tourism tax is up more than 10% between January and April, with average tourism sector jobs up more than 5% in the first four months of 2023.

Arkansas’ 2% tourism tax revenue between January and April was $7.547 million, up 10.4% compared with the $6.834 million in the same period of 2022. Revenue in each month of 2023 set a new record, with those gains compared to record numbers in 2022.

The tourism tax revenue in 2022 was $24.049 million, up 17% compared with the $20.544 million in 2021. Revenue set a new monthly record in June of $2.528 million, with collections for each month topping $1 million for the first time. The state’s 2% tourism tax revenue fell almost 23% in 2020, and fell to levels not seen since 2014.

January-April hospitality tax collections among 17 cities surveyed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker were up 11.65% compared with the same period in 2022.

Monthly average tourism sector jobs in January-April 2023 was 127500, up 5.24% compared with 121,150 in the same period of 2022. The sector reached record monthly employment of 131,700 in May.

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 January-April 2023 Tourism Ticker report are:
• 11.65% increase
Hospitality tax revenue in January-April 2023 among 17 Arkansas cities reviewed for the Arkansas Tourism Ticker compared with the same period in 2022

• 10.4% increase
Collections of Arkansas’ 2% statewide tourism tax in January-April 2023 compared with the same period in 2022

• 5.2% increase
Gain in monthly average of Arkansas’ tourism industry jobs in January-April 2023 compared with the same period in 2022

Link here for a PDF of the January-April 2023 Arkansas Tourism Ticker.