LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Twenty-one Arkansas advertising and promotion commissions (A&Ps) and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) received more than $3.5 million in grants from the federal CARES Act.
“The people and agencies that promote our state parks and other tourist attractions to the rest of the world are essential to a robust state economy,” said state Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Their campaigns to spread the word about our museums, bike trails, hunting and fishing, and all the other family-friendly opportunities in Arkansas entice tourists by the tens of thousands, which supports jobs and brings in millions of dollars to support our state. The CARES Act funds are a bridge to normalcy after the harm to our tourism industry from COVID-19.”
The grant provides reimbursement to A&Ps, CVBs and other quasi-governmental entities for eligible expenditures related to the pandemic between March 1 and Nov. 15, 2020.
“Our A&Ps and CVBs have been among those hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “These entities are central to the success of our tourism industry, which is the second-largest sector of our economy in Arkansas.
“We have worked diligently as a department to find ways to support these partners,” said Travis Napper, director of Arkansas Tourism. “These grants will go a long way to benefit tourism in Arkansas and although 2020 has presented significant setbacks, we’re on the right track to come back stronger than before.”
The Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee in November approved funding the grants using the remaining portion of the funds set aside for municipalities and counties through the program administered by the Department of Finance and Administration.