Fort Smith, Van Buren and areas of the six-county region the Arkansas Tourism Department calls the “Mountain Frontier” accounted for more than $24.4 million in travel-generated state tax dollars.
According to the newly released 2017 Arkansas Tourism Economic Impact report, the state gathered about $404.5 million in travel-generated state tax dollars last year, a 2.8 percent increase over 2016 figures.
The Mountain Frontier region (Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Polk, Scott and Sebastian counties) accrued about $608.6 million of the $7.8 billion in total travel expenditures for the state last year. Northwest Arkansas (Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties) gathered about $1.1 billion in total travel expenditures, with about $67.9 million in travel-generated state tax dollars.
Sebastian County accounted for the largest percentage of the travel-generated state tax dollars raised in the Mountain Frontier region at about $17.1 million, with $5.9 million in local travel-generated tax dollars.
Crawford County was next in line for the region with about $3.2 million in travel-generated state tax dollars and about $911,000 in travel-generated local tax dollars, the report shows.
Among the 12 state regions, Mountain Frontier ranks fifth in total travel expenditures. The highest ranked area is the Heart of Arkansas region with Pulaski County accounting for the lion’s share — $1.95 billion — of more than $2.2 billion in total travel expenditures. The state’s most heavily traveled region includes Faulkner, Lonoke, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties.
Fort Smith figures
The Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau started off 2018 with a $3,908 jump in lodging tax receipts compared with last year. According to the CVB’s latest financial report presented to the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotions Commission on Tuesday, the A&P fund balance as of Jan. 31 is $475,618 with revenue in January coming in at 64,465 and expenses at $54,061.
The Fort Smith National Historic Site also reported an increase in visitors with March numbers at 11,160 compared with 10,550 in March 2017. Year-to-date visitors to the National Historic Site as of the end of March stand at 25,361, a sharp increase from the 16,591 who visited in the same time period last year.
The Fort Smith Convention Center reported revenues and expenses for March on Tuesday.
The Convention Center’s latest financial report shows total revenue for March at $48,828 and total expenses for the month at $89,564. Year-to-date revenue at the convention center, which is subsidized by the Fort Smith general fund, is $169,591, or about $9,400 more than the same period last year.