February 20, 2013 Edition

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Snapps attending
Travel South Showcase

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

The Downtown Walnut Ridge organization and the Lawrence County Tourism Committee is hoping for a boost from an event going on in Little Rock this week. Charles and Jackie Snapp of Walnut Ridge are representing the two organizations, as well as the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, at the Travel South Showcase.

More than 500 travel specialists, tour operators and journalists were expected at the event, which brings together delegates from 11 states to promote tourism within the area.

Travel South USA is a regional partnership that serves as an information source for tour operators, retail travel agents, members of the media, and other travel professionals, promoting travel to and within Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

"Showcase hasn't been held in Arkansas in more than a dozen years," says Tourism Director Joe David Rice. "We have changed drastically in that time. We are eager to share with these folks our 21st Century Arkansas tourism product."

Tourism ranks throughout the region as one of the top three industries, behind manufacturing and agriculture, and is responsible for $122.6 billion in spending by visitors generating 1.37 million direct jobs, $29.7 billion in worker paychecks, and almost $16 billion in state and local taxes.

Travel South Showcase is the only regional marketplace focused solely on the cultural, musical, artistic and culinary heritage of the South. Showcase's program includes interactive meetings, networking opportunities and special events throughout Little Rock and Central Arkansas, all presented within the scope of Southern hospitality.

Charles Snapp said in addition to promoting local attractions, the booth manned by the Snapps is also promoting the other seven counties that are part of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council.

The council recently completed its 2013 travel guides, which includes an extensive section on Lawrence County.

The guides will be available at The Chamber of Commerce office, imagine, Whiteway Barber Shop, Heard's Country Market, Lake Charles and Historic Powhatan Courthouse State Parks and Betty's Buffet and Grill.

The guides can also be downloaded by visiting the Ozark Gateway website at www.OzarkGateway.com or the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce website at www.lawcochamber.org.

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