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Travel South Showcase Comes to Little Rock


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For Immediate Release

Travel South Showcase Comes to Little Rock
Conference February 17-20 Shines Spotlight on The Natural State

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More than 500 travel specialists, tour operators and journalists will converge this Sunday on Little Rock for the 31st Annual Travel South Showcase. The event brings together delegates from 11 states to promote tourism within the area.

Travel South USA is a regional partnership that serves as an information source for tour operators, retail travel agents, members of the media, and other travel professionals, promoting travel to and within Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Formed in 1965 by resolution at the Southern Governor’s Conference, the long-standing regional collaboration of tourism offices in these states provides a foundation positioning tourism as a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development.

“Showcase hasn’t been held in Arkansas in more than a dozen years,” says Tourism Director Joe David Rice. “We have changed drastically in that time. We are eager to share with these folks our 21st Century Arkansas tourism product.”

Gretchen Hall with the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city is proud to be host to the auspicious conference. “This conference provides us the perfect opportunity to showcase all that Little Rock and Arkansas has to offer visitors. It will help us raise our tourism profile and increase the awareness of the variety of offerings we have.”

Tourism ranks throughout the region as one of the top three industries, behind manufacturing and agriculture, and is responsible for $122.6 billion in spending by visitors generating 1.37 million direct jobs, $29.7 billion in worker paychecks, and almost $16 billion in state and local taxes.

Organizing the gathering is a tremendous effort, but the collaboration between the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau has answered the call to bring everything together. “Logistically managing a conference of 500 people and moving them throughout our destination can be a challenge, but it is a good one to have. The professionals at the CVB are experts in this field and always enjoy showcasing our city,” Hall adds.

Travel South Showcase is the only regional Marketplace focused solely on the cultural, musical, artistic and culinary heritage of the South. Showcase’s program includes interactive meetings, networking opportunities and special events throughout Little Rock and Central Arkansas, all presented within the scope of southern hospitality.

For more information, contact Joe David Rice with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at (501) 682-1088 or joedavid.rice@arkansas.gov, or Gretchen Hall with the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau at (501) 370-3243 or ghall@littlerock.com.

To arrange an on-the-marketplace-floor interview at Travel South Showcase, contact Kat Robinson, communications manager at (501) 682-7606 or at kat.robinson@arkansas.gov.
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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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