I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism. If the venue itself, Eureka Springs, was not engaging and entertaining enough, the information presented was certainly captivating for those in attendance. More importantly, the information was welcome and exciting news for all of us as citizens of the Great State of Arkansas.
Rarely do I look at Arkansas as a visitor, but my eyes were opened to the incredible work that our State Parks and Tourism , Aristotle and CJRW are doing to bring visitors to the Natural State. And it is nothing short of amazing.
- The primary site for Arkansas tourism: www.Arkansas.com received 6,184,550 visitor sessions in 2009. This was a 10.5% increase over 2008.
- Arkansas is the first state to incorporate the use of QR codes, or mobile tagging, which allow visitors to take advantage of URL shortcuts to travel information throughout The Natural State.
- VisitMyArkansas.com allows you to enjoy the sights of Arkansas through the eyes of four Travel Writers covering all areas of the State. No other state comes close to this complete coverage.
- When defining “market share” as number of hits to its website, Arkansas is ranked number one compared to all contiguous states, including Texas!
- Arkansas became one of the first states to launch its own iPhone app. Using this app, you can find coupons for family fun and shopping, or get daily specials at an Arkansas spa. Even catch special rates for romantic getaways, weddings and honeymoons.
- During 2009, Arkansas was in the top five of the most visited state tourism sites every month, except one, in which we were 6th! (Hey, even our state needs a short vacation!)
- And the most amazing fact: All these resources are available free of charge to you, me and the tourism destinations that choose to take advantage of them.
One other “undocumented” fact, but one I witnessed personally, is that the Tourism Communications Manager, Dena Woerner (@DenaJill) has got to be the hardest working dynamo in the tourism industry. You may try to follow her on Twitter, but you can’t catch her.
So there you have it: A State Agency, An Internet Agency, and an Ad Agency, working in unison to make Arkansas Travel & Tourism tops in America. How is it done? Naturally.
The peak travel season is drawing near, won’t you share with us your favorite Arkansas destination?