Welcome to Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism coordinates a statewide guest service training program that provides free tools to help educate frontline employees regarding local attractions and activities. Tourism workers are educated about things to see and do in their communities so that they can better inform visitors and encourage them to stay longer.

The goals 

  • To increase customers' satisfaction with an Arkansas vacation
  • To better inform industry personnel regarding local and state attractions
  • To improve customer service in tourism

The incentives 
"Welcome to Arkansas" is based on providing incentives for frontline employees to learn more about what there is to see and do in their towns and across the state and to share the information with visitors. Representatives of lodging properties, chambers of commerce, A&Ps, CVBs, and Welcome Centers help identify exemplary employees who provide extraordinary customer service.

How it works 
Participating communities receive "Welcome to Arkansas" lapel pins, laminated area information cards, and access to Arkansas video content, to be shared with area businesses.

Through these free materials and grass-roots participation, local tourism industry workers unite efforts to attract and retain tourists. Communities are asked to:

  1. recruit local lodging, restaurant, and attractions participants;
  2. distribute the supporting materials to these organizations;
  3. recognize outstanding employees; and
  4. procure local incentives to reward those who display exemplary hospitality.

Each community appoints a "point person" to coordinate the team to accomplish these traveler service actions. Incentives are as simple as inexpensive gift certificates to gas stations, restaurants, or grocery stores. All recognized employees are entered to win a grand prize given away at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

Training is available 
The Department offers "First Impressions," an excellent training program that educates both the employer and employee about what can be accomplished through superior customer service in tourism. A trainer comes to the community to conduct a session for the work force, explaining guest serviceskills and concepts needed to make hospitality top priority every day.

Participating is easy 
To learn more about bringing the "Welcome to Arkansas" program or "First Impressions" training to your community, contact [email protected] or call 501-682-1676.