Economic Impact of Tourism Still on the Rise for State and Independence County

Arkansas hosted more than 32 million visitors in 2018 who spent $7.37 billion in total travel expenditures, $408 million in state taxes and $161 million in local taxes, according to data released by the Division of Arkansas Tourism last week.

Total travel expenditures in Independence County were up by 4.2% for a total of $44,329.127.94 in 2018. Other local figures include $8,703,541 in tourism-generated payroll, 502 tourism-generated jobs, and $988,685.19 in tourism-generated local tax.

Tourism has been a priority for leaders in Independence County since 2016 when residents of Independence County came together to form the IMPACT Independence County community strategic plan. Following the plan’s release, the community added a full-time tourism director, Advertising and Promotions Commission, community brand- Experience Independence, wayfinding signage program, and has strategically recruited several large meetings, conferences, and sporting events.

“Tourism can be the catalyst for continued economic growth and quality of life improvements for us in Independence County. We still have so many untapped resources and opportunities to grow that I feel like we have only scratched the surface of the true impact that tourism can bring to our community” said Tourism Director, Kyle Christopher.