Data released today by the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism indicates that Arkansas’s tourism industry experienced record-breaking visitation in 2021 and has recovered after the significant decline in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

Arkansas welcomed just over 41 million visitors in 2021 compared to 29.2 million in 2020 and 36.3 million in 2019. And lodging spending increased 49% after a fall of 29% in 2020. This rebound led to lodging spending exceeding its 2019 level by 5%. The data was released during the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s annual convention in Little Rock.

“Arkansas’s moniker as The Natural State provided resiliency for the tourism industry during the challenges of the past several years,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “These numbers illustrate that Arkansas is in the midst of a public perception turning point when it comes to our national profile as a tourist destination. Together we can keep that momentum strong as we head into 2023 and beyond.”

Key findings from the report include:

“It’s satisfying to see these numbers and know that we’re achieving our goal to improve the economy of our state,” said Travis Napper, director of Arkansas Tourism. “Not only that, we have the great privilege of sharing the scenic beauty, authentic culture and unique wonder of The Natural State.”

For more information about the 2021 Arkansas Tourism Economic Impact Report, contact Jeff LeMaster at or 501-324-9611.

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. Stacy Hurst serves as the cabinet secretary for the department.

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