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Arkansas to Celebrate Tourism Week May 8 - 16


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Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism


In recognition of the positive economic, social, and cultural impact of the travel and tourism industry, Arkansas will celebrate May 8-16 as Tourism Week. Monday, May 11, has been designated Arkansas Tourist Appreciation Day in honor of the travelers who actually make that impact happen.

In 2009, nearly 23 million visitors traveled in Arkansas, spending an estimated $5.4 billion, which generated $280 million in state taxes and $102 million in local taxes.

Across the state, communities are planning to salute Tourism Week in a variety of ways. Following is a list locations and activities planned:

Bentonville: Arkansas Tourist Appreciation Day will be observed on Monday, May 10, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served and one lucky visitor will take home a basket of goodies from the local area. Everyone is invited to pick up a 2010 Vacation Planning Kit. Learn how to “See Arkansas First.” For more information, contact Phyllis Spradlin, Bentonville Welcome Center manager, at 479-855-3111.
 
Blytheville: The Blytheville Welcome Center will honor Arkansas Tourist Appreciation Day in their new facility on May 12 by serving refreshments from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Visitors will also receive Arkansas state pins and litterbags. For more information, contact Diane James, Blytheville Welcome Center manager, at 870-762-2512.
 
Clarksville: Clarksville is recognizing Tourism Week by asking local businesses’ employees wear red to symbolize the strength of the tourism industry and show appreciation to their customers. The Clarksville-Johnson County Chamber of Commerce will also host two Hospitality Training classes on Thursday, May 13. For more information, contact Sue Williams of the CJC Chamber of Commerce at 479-754-2340.
 
Corning: The Corning Welcome Center will observe Arkansas Tourist Appreciation Day on Monday, May 10, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. by serving home-baked cookies, soft drinks, and coffee to visitors. Individual packets of Riceland Rice and Arkansas pins will be distributed to visitors. Special invitations have been extended to the Mayor and other dignitaries, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and local media. For more information, contact Phyllis Burrow, Corning Welcome Center manager, at 870-857-6014.
 
Harrison: The Harrison Welcome Center will celebrate Tourist Appreciation Day on Monday, May 10, with the help of the Harrison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce. The day begins at 8 a.m. with coffee, juice, and a variety of pastries offered to visitors. At 11 a.m. hot dogs, sandwiches, dips, and soft drinks donated by local businesses will be served. Dining certificates and other giveaways will be presented to guests. A proclamation will be read at 11 a.m. proclaiming the day “Tourism Day in Harrison.” Radio stations will be broadcasting live remotes from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information, contact Norma Sims, Harrison Welcome Center manager, at 870-741-3343.
 
Helena-West Helena: The Helena-West Helena Welcome Center will host a daylong celebration of National Tourism Week on Thursday, May 13, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., welcoming tourists, local citizens, and invited dignitaries throughout the day. Doughnuts, fruit, coffee, and sodas will be provided in the morning, and a door prize will be given away each hour. From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., a light lunch of chicken, potato salad, and baked beans will be provided, compliments of the Advertising & Promotion Commission. A National Tourism Day cake, donated by Hays Super Market, will be served for dessert. For more information, contact Pam Garofas, Helena-West Helena Welcome Center manager, at 870-338-7602.
 
Lake Village: The Lake Village Welcome Center will celebrate Tourism Week on Tuesday, May 11, with a presentation on the history of the Lakeport Plantation. On Wednesday, May 12, staff from the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Crossett will present a program on events and other offerings available. On Thursday, May 13, Lake Chicot State Park representatives welcome guests and introduce them to its attractions. All presentations are from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Soft drinks and bottled water will be served to tourists. For more information, contact Martin Reese, Lake Village Welcome Center manager, at 870-265-5832.
 
Little Rock: The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism will host a Travel Rally at 11:30 a.m., on May 11, on the Arkansas State Capitol front steps. Arkansas Tourism Director Joe David Rice will welcome those in attendance, followed by a performance from Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum. Remarks are by Karen Trevino, director of the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, speaking on behalf of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, and Richard W. Davies, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. First Lady Ginger Beebe will read an official Governor’s proclamation declaring May 8-16 as Tourism Week in Arkansas and recognize the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the state.
 
Mammoth Spring: The Mammoth Spring Welcome Center will commemorate Tourism Week on Saturday, May 15, with free helium balloons, live bluegrass music provided by the George D. Hay Foundation, cake, drinks donated by Coca-Cola, and tours of the 1886 Frisco Depot Museum. There will also be a homemade ice cream vendor on-site. Door prizes donated by vendors and local businesses and goody bags for kids will be given out. A grand prize of a Nintendo Wii will also be awarded. Special greetings for visitors will be given by Mayor Jean Pace, Cathy Drew, executive director of Ozark Gateway, and Bob Pest, president of Ozark Gateway. For more information, contact Adam Davis, Mammoth Spring Welcome Center manager, at 870-625-7364.
 
Siloam Springs: The Siloam Springs Welcome Center will be celebrating all week. Little Debbie snacks, Cavender’s Greek Seasoning spice packets, Day Spring Cards day planners, and Petit Jean Meats hot dogs will all be offered. For more information, contact Betty Ross, Siloam Springs Welcome Center manager at 479-524-4445.
 
Texarkana: The Texarkana Welcome Center will honor National Tourism Week and Tourist Appreciation Day on Monday, May 10. Activities include music by a local dulcimer group, exhibits and displays from several state parks and local businesses, a proclamation reading by the mayor of Texarkana, and refreshments. For more information, contact Paula Warren, Texarkana Welcome Center manager at 870-773-0963.
 
Van Buren & Fort Smith: The Arkansas Welcome Center at Van Buren/Fort Smith will take part in Tourism Week by treating tourists to Arkansas-made products. On Thursday, May 13, at 11 a.m., the mayors of Van Buren and Fort Smith will read an official proclamation proclaiming Tourism Week. The
Fort Smith and Van Buren Advertising & Promotion Commissions will kidnap a lucky tourist and present them with a gift basket. For more information, contact Barbara Wilson, Van Buren/Fort Smith Welcome Center manager, at 479-474-9512.
 
West Memphis: West Memphis will celebrate Tourism Week on Thursday, May 13, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. with a free lunchtime concert held at the Regions Bank Plaza, 231 East Broadway. For more information, contact Leigh Ann Hastings, Main Street West Memphis executive director at 870-735-8814.

For general information on Tourism Week, contact Kristine Puckett, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, #1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201. 501-682-5240.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"

ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & TOURISM
1 Capitol Mall, 4A-900 - Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 | 1-800-872-1259 or (501) 682-7777 (V/TT)
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The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is in compliance with the Freedom of Information, Ar. Code Ann., 25-19-101 et seq.