Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

Late Summer Value Campaign Continues

The “Grownup Getaways” television and radio campaign has been in the market for nearly two weeks. Parks and Tourism is investing more than $257,600 in messages inviting grandparents and couples traveling with or without grandchildren/children to visit for limited time offers and special packages.

You can still take advantage of this opportunity to build business in what has traditionally been a slow time for the industry, by purchasing highly discounted 30-second radio spots that will be paired with Parks and Tourism’s spots. The campaign started July 30 and will run through August 12 on television and through August 26 on radio. Contact Brandi Childress at 501-975-7272 or to learn more.

You can also create packages on For Grownup Getaways, tailor your packages to appeal specifically to grandparents and/or couples traveling with or without children. Visit today to post your new packages.

As a complement to the campaign, Parks and Tourism is giving away $50 gas cards and a grand prize trip to Mountain Harbor Resort with the “Gas Up and Go Giveaway” on Facebook. 

Wax Museum Selected as Sight of the Week

The editors of, an online travel guide to America’s most original and unique attractions, selected the Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum in Hot Springs as the “Sight of the Week," August 6-12, 2012. The article credits the museum for being a “well-maintained attraction, almost entirely populated with its original dummies from 1971.”

The wax museum also earned a coveted Four Smiley rating, which places it among the top attractions featured on the website and earned the lead attraction spot on Roadside America’s home page The story will have a permanent place here.


Reminder: Prettiest Painted Places Sought

Communities interested in competing to be one of the Paint Quality Institute’s “Prettiest Painted Places in America” can submit entries before Friday, August 31. To nominate a community, visit

Hospitality Hot Tip

In an article titled “Customer Service: Your Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage in a Big Box World,” Joanne Steele, owner and CEO of Rural Tourism Marketing Group, explains how customer service is a unique advantage for small businesses. Find out more about how to leverage your guest service resources to stand out against the “big guys” in retail by visiting for the full story.

Social Media Savvy

For some time now, it has been generally accepted that many (if not most) of the folks who follow a business or brand on social media would like to get something in return for their “Like” investment – deals, coupons, exclusive offers, etc. In fact, a late 2011 study by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that for Facebook users, the desire to receive discounts and special offers was the top reason for “liking” a brand, cited by more than 40 percent of U.S. users.
Select new 2012 studies highlighted by reveal that social media users are providing a broader variety of reasons that they like/follow brands and businesses, including good, old-fashioned brand loyalty. 
This newly released research shows that social media users also want to be entertained, and many look to follow brands and share posts that have engaging content. Photos and videos are popular. Performics found only 45 percent of U.S. social network users said that “insider knowledge or special deals” were reasons to “like” a company, brand or product. A larger percentage, some 59 percent, said they followed companies simply because they shopped at their stores or purchased their products.
So, what’s the takeaway from this new research? Keep your followers entertained with photos, videos and high-quality, useful content and, by all means, cultivate your loyal customers and encourage their participation in your brand’s social media activities. If they’ve had a good “real world” experience with you, they will follow you and stick with you on social media as well. Best of all, share your message with others.


Toad Suck, Arkansas Makes… Uh… Top 10 List

Toad Suck, Arkansas has a new claim to fame. A new poll across seven English-speaking countries has chosen the city as having the "most unfortunate" town name in the U.S. Toad Suck reportedly takes its name from a once popular drinking location for boaters on the Arkansas River. The site explains, "While they waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the dismay of the folks living nearby, who said: 'They suck on the bottle 'til they swell up like toads.' Hence, the name Toad Suck."

Other cities to receive this unique designation include: Climax, GA; Boring, OR; Hooker, OK; Assawoman, MD; Belchertown, MA; Roachtown, IL; Loveladies, NJ; and Squabbletown, CA.


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