March 23, 2012
Send Us Your Tourism Week Events
National Tourism Week 2012 will be May 5-13. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism observes this commemoration annually. Arkansas's Tourist Appreciation Day is scheduled at the State Capitol that week to recognize the importance of the travel and tourism industry to our state's economy.
Tell us what’s planned for your community. Send your event information to Kristine Puckett in Tourism Development. Kristine.Puckett@arkansas.gov. The Department will promote all events scheduled around the state.
Nominations for GRIT Awards Due
The Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau will award its inaugural Giving Recognition In Tourism or GRIT awards April 19. Organizers will accept nominations until Friday, March 23.
The nominations can be anything in writing, as long as it includes the “who” and “why.” They can be mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped by the office at 2 N. B St. no later than 5 p.m. Information regarding criteria can be found at the Experiencing Fort Smith blog.
Action Urged to Restore Funding to National Scenic Byways Program
Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved House measure HR 7, which would repeal the National Scenic Byways Program, including designations, technical assistance and all funding.
If this happens, tourism projects in the Arkansas Delta could be strongly impacted. The Arkansas Delta is composed of 15 counties located on Arkansas’s eastern border and is home to two national scenic byways: the Arkansas Great River Road National Scenic Byway and Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway.
Arkansans are asked to contact their U.S. Senators and Congressmen and urge them to take action to remove the repeal of the National Scenic Byways Program from HR 7.
For more information, contact Dr. Ruth Hawkins, Arkansas Delta Byways executive director, at 870-972-2803.
ALFiE Awards Announced
The Arkansas Festivals & Events Association announced the winners of the ALFiEs recently at the association’s 28th annual conference in Rogers. The ALFiE Awards, “Arkansans Love Festivals & Events,” honor the best and brightest of Arkansas’s festivals and special events.
2011 ALFiEs recipients were:
- Best New Festival or Event – Wakarusa, Ozark
- Outstanding New Idea – MusicFest, El Dorado for their Pit Pass
- Volunteer of the Year – Rhonda Ray, Smackover Oil Town Festival
- Festival of the Year – MusicFest, El Dorado
- Event of the Year – Jazz on the Lake, Pine Bluff
Promotional ALFiE Gold Awards winners:
- Color Brochure - Toad Suck Daze, Conway
- Newspaper/Tabloid - Spinach Festival, Alma
- Souvenir - Toad Suck Daze, Conway (flag)
- T-Shirt/Sweatshirt - Spinach Festival, Alma
- Poster - Harvest Music Festival, Ozark
- Event Photo - Toad Suck Daze, Conway
- Event Website - MusicFest, El Dorado
- Social Media Campaign - MusicFest, El Dorado
New Record Set at Governor’s Conference Auction
The 38th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in West Memphis wrapped up with great success. The annual auction to benefit the Hospitality and Tourism Foundation produced a new record: more than $83,000. The foundation provides scholarships for hospitality students at Arkansas universities.
Also at the conference, Richard W. Davies, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, presented the Henry Awards. The Henrys honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state’s tourism industry in the preceding year.
The Henry Award recipients for 2011 include:
- Media Support Award: Art Meripol, Birmingham, Ala.
- Bootstrap Award: Montgomery County Arkansas Frontporch Stage, Mount Ida
- Arkansas Heritage Award: Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society, Jacksonville
- Grand Old Classic Special Event Award: Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Cleanup, Heber Springs
- Outstanding Volunteer Service Award: LOViT Traildogs, Mount Ida
- Community Tourism Development Award: Let’s Paint Stuttgart, Stuttgart
- The Natural State Award: Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, Texarkana
- Tourism Special Achievement Award: Paula Miles, Jonesboro
Other special recognitions:
Sandy Edwards, deputy director of museum relations, accepted the Crystal Award on behalf of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Dr. Dean Kumpuris of Little Rock was named Tourism Person of the Year.
Nancy Clark of Little Rock and Shelby Woods of Little Rock were inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame.