Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

Summer Marketing Campaign to Address Potentially High Gas Prices

In response to industry concerns regarding the possibility of high gas prices this summer, the Department of Parks and Tourism is reallocating more than $370,000 in advertising to promote the "More Fun Per Gallon" special multi-media campaign.

Beginning May 14, the Department will offer opportunities for members of the industry to partner in-state on radio as well as create special deals and packages on

The campaign will be in Arkansas as well as communities in bordering states. These include:

  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Monroe, Louisiana
  • Tyler/Longview, Texas
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Jackson, Mississippi

Watch your e-mail for an invitation to attend one of six meetings to be held next week in different locations across the state, where members of the marketing team will present the campaign ideas and opportunities.

Wednesday, May 9 in Fort Smith and Rogers

Thursday, May 10 in Eureka Springs, Mountain Home and Heber Springs

Friday, May 11 in Hot Springs

Industry members in other areas of the state will be contacted by phone and e-mail with details further explaining the More Fun Per Gallon promotion. For more information, contact Joe David Rice, tourism director, or Marla Crider, assistant tourism director.

Tourism Industry to Rally on Capitol Steps

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism will host a Travel Rally Tuesday, May 8, on the front steps of the Arkansas State Capitol. All members of the industry are invited to attend and show their support. Last year, Arkansas tourism generated nearly $5.7 billion in travel expenditures.

Tourism Director Joe David Rice will welcome those in attendance, followed by presentations from Little Rock CVB Director Gretchen Hall and Miss Arkansas 2011 Kristen Glover.

Governor Mike Beebe has been invited to read an official proclamation declaring May 5-13 as Tourism Week in Arkansas and recognizing the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the state.  For more information on the Travel Rally, contact Donna Perrin, tourism development manager, at 501-682-5240.

Walton one of the 100 Most Influential People

In its April edition, Time Magazine named Alice Walton to its list as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The editors wrote, “As one of the wealthiest women in the world, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton could put her new museum wherever she pleased. Where she pleased was Bentonville, Ark., the town where she grew up. She commissioned a handsome ensemble of connected pavilions by architect Moshe Safdie set around an artificial lake and nestled in woodlands. And she filled them with a phenomenal collection of art from Colonial times on up to the 21st century.”

See the full list including 99 others in the categories of Breakouts, Pioneers, Moguls, Leaders and Icons. They include Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman who posted on YouTube a video of herself driving in the country and was jailed for nine days, and Statistician Hans Rosling who’s spent years on the front lines of public health in Africa.

The Search is On for the “Ultimate Fishing Town”

The World Fishing Network is looking for the best fishing in the country. Voting for the 2012 Ultimate Fishing town contest began May 1.

The town with the most votes will receive a community donation of $25,000, which can be used toward an organization, foundation or cause-related to fishing or environmental development.

Arkansas towns nominated are: Russellville (Lake Dardenelle pictured right), Bull Shoals, Heber Springs, Cotter and Mountain Home. Vote for your favorite fishing hole.

Bull Shoals Lake Hosts Bassmaster Elite Tournament

Brandon Palaniuk (photo right), 24, won $100,000 and the Bassmaster Elite Series TroKar Quest held April 19-22 at Bull Shoals Lake. Comprised of 100 of the most talented anglers in bass fishing, the field of competitors have won more than 200 Bassmaster tournaments, 17 Bassmaster Classic championships and 21 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles.

The Elite field drew the public, especially anglers such as four-time Classic champ Rick Clunn of Missouri, perennial qualifier Kevin VanDam of Michigan and several popular Arkansas favorites like Mark Davis of Mount Ida and Scott Rook of Little Rock.

The event packed area lodging, restaurants and gas stations. Nearly all of the anglers remarked on the incredible fishery that Bull Shoals Lake offers, as well as the great support and turnout for the event from the community. Many also expressed a desire to return to Bull Shoals Lake. The tournament was based at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock and Bull Shoals-White River State Park. The event aired on ESPN2 and on ESPN Classic on April 29. It will be shown again May 19 at 8 a.m. on ESPN2  and 10 a.m. on ESPN Classic.

Rand McNally and USA TODAY Search for Rally Team Drivers

For many, summer travel is about road trips. Rand McNally and USA TODAY announced the Best of the Road Rally for road-trippers to seek out America’s best towns and attractions in a four-week, coast-to-coast adventure. Five teams will be selected by Rand McNally and USA TODAY. Entries will be accepted until May 15th.

There is still time to nominate and vote for towns to be on the Rally team itineraries and become Points of Interest on Rand McNally’s site. It’s a great way to encourage some hometown pride and show off some must-see sites to travelers.

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