29 Percent Increase in Tourism Spending Since 2013 Benefits All Hot Springs Businesses, According to Report From Largest National Study of Tourism Industry | Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

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29 Percent Increase in Tourism Spending Since 2013 Benefits All Hot Springs Businesses, According to Report From Largest National Study of Tourism Industry

Published: 8/20/2019

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, ARKANSAS — Spending by visitors has increased 29 percent since 2013 (the date of the last study) and that benefits all Hot Springs businesses, according to comprehensive tourism industry research reported Monday.

The report was presented to members of the Hot Springs tourism industry and other members of the public by Michael Erdman, senior vice president of research for Longwoods International, described as operating the largest ongoing study of American travelers.

Erdman said spending by visitors to Hot Springs in 2018 reached a record $677 million in 2018, an increase of 29 percent since 2013.

“Travel and tourism continue to make a significant contribution to the economy of Hot Springs,” Erdman said, “benefiting not just lodging operators and attractions typically associated with tourism, but also other business sectors including food and beverage, retail stores, and sightseeing/recreation businesses and organizations.”

“Visitors spent $186 million in local restaurants and bars in 2018,” Erdman said, “and their purchases in retail stores topped $143 million.  Spending in hotels and other accommodations amounted to $129 million, while expenditures on sightseeing, entertainment and recreation reached $142 million, and spending on local transportation, such as gas, car rentals, parking, taxis, etc., amounted to $78 million.

“All sectors benefited from the huge increase in visitor spending over the past five years.”

Longwoods International’s data, presented by Erdman, showed these results:

  • In 2018, Hot Springs welcomed 7.9 million visitors, up 18 percent over 2013.  Of these trips, 2.9 million, or 26 percent, were overnight trips, and 5 million (74 percent) were day trips. “Compared to 2013, when we last surveyed visitors, overnight trips to the city were up 8 percent, while day trips rose an impressive 25 percent,” he said.
  • Overall visitor spending reached a record $677 million in 2018, an increase of 29 percent since 2013.
  • People visiting Hot Springs on overnight trips spent $386 million, a 21 percent improvement over the five-year period.
  • Daytrippers spent $291 million in the city, “up an impressive 42 percent” versus 2013.

“Longwoods International’s research project is the largest ongoing study of American travelers,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “The results pertaining to Hot Springs tourism as presented by Michael Erdman are especially vital for members of our tourism industry and should be of interest to all Hot Springs residents.”

Erdman is chief methodologist at Longwoods International and has personally directed projects in 12 countries for numerous clients, including Canada, Bermuda, Hawaii, Colorado, Nova Scotia, and Denver. He has conducted hundreds of group discussions across North America.

For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.

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