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By proclamation of Governor Asa Hutchinson, and in recognition of the positive economic, social, and cultural impact of the travel and tourism industry, Arkansas will celebrate May 7-13 as Tourism Week. In 2016, visitors who traveled in Arkansas spent an estimated $7.7 billion, which generated $538 million in state and local taxes, and supported more than 100,000 jobs.
Mountain bikers from across the nation will be heading to Arkansas for the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships May 7 in Arkadelphia. The event will be held at the Iron Mountain Trail System, which is located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains and on the south shore of DeGray Lake.
Arkansas is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes. Among these are five in Southwest Arkansas collectively known as the Diamond Lakes. These are Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs, Lake Catherine near Malvern, DeGray Lake at Arkadelphia and Lake Greeson between Glenwood and Murfreesboro.
The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Arkansas tourism partners from across the state honored the 2017 winners of the annual “Henry Awards” during a luncheon at the 43rd Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held March 12-14 in Little Rock. The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state’s tourism industry in the preceding year.
While in southern Arkansas for a baseball tournament, 14-year-old Kalel Langford, of Centerton, Arkansas, fulfilled a longtime dream of visiting Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. Kalel and his parents arrived at Arkansas’s diamond site on the afternoon of Saturday, March 11. By the end of the day, he had registered the 7th- largest diamond found at the Arkansas State Park since 1972.
As Group Travel Manager, Collins will oversee a small staff working together to increase visibility of and visitation to Arkansas by groups traveling for reunions, weddings, motorcoach tours, conferences and sporting events.
Heather Huckeba has been named the Research Project Coordinator for the Tourism Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Among her various duties, Huckeba will develop and oversee research to assist in the promotion of Arkansas as a tourism destination, as well as measure and report tourism’s economic impact on the state.
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has won the silver award in the category of “Destination Social Media or Marketing Campaign” in the 2016 North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Awards Competition. The award comes in recognition of the department’s Parkansas Vacation Giveaway.
Professional and amateur cycling teams head to Fayetteville March 30 through April 2 for the annual Joe Martin Stage Race. Celebrating 40 years, this four-day, four-stage race will host 750 athletes from 27 countries and all 50 states.
“Straight Lines on a Round World,” created by local sculptor Michael Warrick and Louisiana artist Aaron Hussey, was commissioned by the Committee for Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Monument and represents more than a decade of planning. The ceremony featured a christening with water taken from the Arkansas and St. Francis rivers.