Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter
Greetings Industry Insiders!

Well, it took a while but spring has finally sprung on us. I’m glad to say the dogwoods are blooming – though it’d be nice if the pollen wasn’t so bad!

In this missive, you’ll find a lot of interesting information, including more about our “Create Your Escape” contest and how you can improve the stature of your property with encouraged participation from your guests. We’re also sharing what you need to know to have your events included in the Fall/Winter 2013-14 Calendar of Events – and a particularly touching customer service success story to share, thanks to the kindness of a well-known toy company.

Here’s hoping your business blooms with lots of visitors this season.

Joe David Rice

“Create Your Escape” – Expose Your Business

Our new online contest, which allows visitors to select the place(s) they want to stay, play and eat on a three-day, two-night Arkansas adventure, is your place to shine.

How? Every entrant selects their destination, activities and dining for a full entry in the contest. The more contestants that choose your property, the better the chance that the winner will have picked it, which increases the possibility of being part of the grand prize. The selected package will be announced and featured all across our social media network once the contest is over.

What do the statistics show? Here are the current leaders on
the destination board for Create Your Escape:

1. 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa – 59 votes
2. 1881 Crescent Cottage Inn – 29 votes
3. Crater of Diamonds State Park – 26 votes
4. 1876 Inn & Restaurant – 24 votes
5. 1 Gables Inn Bed & Breakfast – 24 votes
6. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – 24 votes
7. 11 Singleton House Bed & Breakfast – 23 votes
8. Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa – 17 votes
9. 101 Boat Dock Houseboat Rentals – 17 votes
10. Mount Magazine State Park – 17 votes

How do you increase your standing? Share the link to Create Your Escape with your guests through social media, your property e-newsletter and through individual correspondence with past guests.

It’s also a great time to update your Deals and Coupons – which may give these participants inspiration through prepackaged Arkansas vacations. Visit and look for the Partner Login to enter your deals.

New Museum in McGehee Draws Hundreds

On Tuesday, April 16, hundreds gathered in McGehee for the Japanese American Internment Commemoration ceremonies. The event started with the dedication of the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum, located at 100 S. Railroad St. in McGehee. The museum features the exhibit "Against Their Will," which tells the stories of those who were confined at the Jerome and Rohwer internment sites beginning in 1942. Actor/writer/social media sensation George Takei, a former internee at the Rohwer Relocation Center, was the guest speaker at the dedication event.

Immediately following the museum opening, the crowd moved to the nearby Rowher Relocation Center for the unveiling of the new interpretive exhibits located at the site. The displays provide a glimpse into the lives of the Japanese Americans once interned at Rohwer. Takei narrated the audio for the new exhibitry. Fellow internees, visiting from around the country, joined Takei at the podium for a butterfly release in commemoration of those interned at Rohwer and Jerome.

The World War II Japanese American Internment Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free but donations are accepted. For more information about the museum, click here.

Market Upcoming Events to Thousands of Travelers

The Arkansas Tourism Division is collecting tourism-related happenings scheduled from September 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014, for the Fall/Winter Calendar of Events.

Please submit your items at by Tuesday, April 30. Within a week of the deadline, proof your copy by visiting and notify the Tourism Development section of necessary changes.

Entries received after the deadline may not appear in the printed version of the calendar, but the online calendar will be updated regularly as submissions are received throughout the year.

If you have questions, contact any member of the Tourism Development section at 501-682-5240 or email

Trevino Awarded Certification

Karen Trevino, the 2011 “Tourism Person of the Year," recently graduated from the World Travel Food Association’s Certified Culinary Travel Professional Program (CCTP), which is comprehensive and recognized world-wide with a high level of credibility. A certified travel industry specialist, Trevino is only one of two people in Arkansas with the designation.

Trevino is currently a hospitality instructor with the Culinary Arts & Hospitality Manager Institute (CAHMI) at Pulaski Tech. “CAHMI is proud of Karen’s accomplishment,” said Todd Gold, executive director. “Her many years of experience in the tourism industry and dedication to learning more make her a valuable part of our team.”

Trevino has served the hospitality industry for more than 30 years, playing a variety of roles, from executive director of the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau to director of operations for the Arkansas Hospitality Association to a long-time staff member at the Department of Parks and Tourism.

Celebrate National Tourism Week May 4-12

In 2012, The Natural State hosted nearly 23 million visitors, resulting in $5.8 billion in travel-related expenditures and landing tourism as one of the top industries in Arkansas. That’s a lot to celebrate.

To mark National Travel and Tourism Week, we ask that you take an active role in working with local leaders, media, hoteliers, restaurateurs and others to highlight the valuable role tourism plays in contributing to Arkansas’s economy. Visit the Industry Insider site for event ideas and key messages to share. Let Kristine Puckett know your plans by Monday, April 22, and we’ll help publicize them. Contact her at

Inspiring and Unexpected Customer Service

A 10-year-old boy had his eyes set on a specific LEGO® train set and saved money for two years to buy it. When the time finally came to make the purchase, he was disappointed to find LEGO® was no longer making the set. The boy wrote LEGO® a letter. Take a look at the Welcome to Arkansas Hospitality Hot Tips blog to see how the company responded. We hope you find it as inspiring and unexpected as we did.




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