Tourism industry partners from across the state will gather at the 50th Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism Feb. 25-27 at the Red Wolf Convention Center in Jonesboro. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders will present the luncheon keynote address during the Hall of Fame ceremony Monday. 

The conference’s opening keynote speaker will be Jeff Nichols, a feature film writer and director born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nichols’ award-winning films include “Take Shelter,” “Mud,” and the Academy Award nominated “Loving.” His session will explore the Arkansas story and ways it can be shared to encourage others to visit the state and create their own Arkansas story.

Conference sessions will cover creating passionate and engaged tourism champions in your community, outdoor recreation, music tourism and the 2024 eclipse. Other topics include tourism’s economic impact on the state, workforce building and developing an effective public relations strategy.

Secretary Shea Lewis will also update attendees about the latest tourism news and efforts from the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. A special lunch celebration will take place on Monday, Feb. 26, as Marcel Hanzlik and Karen Trevino are inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame. 

Attendees also have the opportunity for one-on-one conversations with conference speakers, the Arkansas Tourism team and other industry professionals to collaborate, brainstorm and learn.

The conference will culminate Tuesday, Feb. 27, with the presentation of the 2024 Arkansas Tourism Henry Awards at 6:30 p.m. 

To view a full conference schedule, visit

For media registration or more information, contact Shealyn Sowers at 501-355-6667 or

Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism.

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