BACC Engages Community to Develop Tourist Attraction Strategies

The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) kicked off its Tourism hub meeting series Thursday evening at UACCB’s Independence Hall.

In partnership with BACC, Landon Downing of Citizens Bank and Jeanne Roepcke of Batesville School District serve as leadership for the hub. Sarah Kinser, Chief Program Officer for the Arkansas Community Foundation, facilitated the first of the four-part series, titled “Engaging the Vision.”

The goal of the Tourism hub is to maximize Independence County’s potential as a tourist destination by building community-led actionable attraction strategies. 

Participants reviewed and responded to data representing the high-level outcomes of the initial IMPACT plan. For example, the group reported an increase of nearly six million dollars from tourism-related activities and a 15% increase in travel-generated payroll since the initial launch of the IMPACT efforts in 2015. In addition, they shared that for each dollar invested by the City of Batesville’s Advertising & Promotions Commission, sixteen dollars was added to the local economy through tourism since the approval of a three-percent lodging tax in 2017.

Participants worked in groups to envision the Batesville of the future. They were encouraged to think about what would be different if we were successful and the same. Hub leaders will take the group’s input and develop a vision to frame the remainder of the working sessions. 

Landon Downing of Citizens Bank and Tourism Hub leader, said, “Tourism is critical for Independence County. We have great assets in our community and an amazing county full of natural resources and amazing people. Getting everyone together to brainstorm and develop a collaborative plan is just the first step. We want to drive growth in our community through tourism over the next five years.”

The second meeting of the hub will be Thursday, June 24, from 12 – 1 p.m. at UACCB’s Independence Hall. Community members are invited to attend and must be willing to participate in discussions and activities.

About IMPACT Independence County: 

IMPACT is a grassroots community development plan with a focus on economic prosperity, tourism, educational excellence and healthy living and wellbeing rooted in the core belief that every resident has the right to strive to create the environment they desire. Collaboration has driven the creation of the plan and implementation of its objectives.