Tourists Spend $5 Billion in Arkansas

MARCH 6, 2007 - Posted at 11:19 a.m. CST

HOT SPRINGS, AR - State tourism officials estimate that 2006 spending by tourists in Arkansas topped $5 billion for the first time.

Factoring travel by state residents and those from outside of Arkansas, the state Department of Parks and Tourism estimates that Arkansas had more than 23 million visitors last year.

The department uses the measure of "person trips" to calculate its figures.  A person trip counts as one person who goes to a place 50 miles or more, each way, from home in one day, or is out of town one or more nights.

Pulaski County led the state in the tourism spending estimate, with $1.3 billion.  Garland County was second with $508 million.

The department says it is continuing to target likely Arkansas visitors through a combination of print, broadcast and Internet advertising.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)