Awards honor excellence in Arkansas tourism

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Henry Awards honoring excellence in Arkansas’ tourism industry. The Henry Awards have been a feature of the annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism since their debut in 1981 and are named for Henri de Tonti, founder of Arkansas Post, who is hailed as the first “Arkansas Traveler.”

To submit a nomination, go to The last day for submissions is Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The award categories are:

The Natural State Tourism Development Award is presented to a community, organization, special event or attraction for an innovative project that “stands out from the crowd” because of its unique appeal or creative approach that increases community pride and placemaking.

The Tourism Organization of the Year is presented to a convention and visitors bureau, advertising and promotion commission, chamber of commerce or other entity for excellence over the course of the previous year.

The Tourism Attraction of the Year recognizes the contribution of local attractions in drawing visitors, delivering excellence in customer service and enhancing the profile of the area.

The Rising Star Award is presented to a young tourism professional in recognition of specific accomplishments, demonstrated leadership and commitment to the industry.

The Tourism Region of the Year is presented to one of Arkansas’ 12 Regional Tourist Associations for excellence over the course of the previous year.

TheTourism Person of the Year is selected by former honorees and presented to an individual who has been actively involved in tourism and made a substantial contribution within the past year to the betterment of the tourism industry.

The Tourism Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have been actively involved for many years in tourism and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry.

The 2024 awards ceremony will take place at the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism Feb. 25-27, 2024, in Jonesboro. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the annual gathering of the Arkansas tourism industry.

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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