Bentonville sees return on tourism investment

KNWA

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Statistics show tourism continues to boom in Bentonville. People in the city’s tourism department said they hope new attractions and bike trails will bring in even more people over the coming years.

In 2006, the city’s tourism budget was about $650,000. Now, that number has increased to $2.8 million, said Kalene Griffith, the president and CEO of Visit Bentonville.

Griffith attributes the success to several factors, including go-to destinations like Crystal Bridges and the Amazeum. A growing culinary scene is represented by the original two restaurants on the Bentonville Square growing to 16.

New spots like the Momentary could boost tourism even more, Griffith said.

“A lot of people don’t put us at the top of their list for visiting, and I think we’re starting to become at the top of the list for the arts and the cycling, especially,” Griffith said.

In each of the last five years, more than 650,000 people have visited the city, Griffith said. Visit Bentonville works with other Northwest Arkansas cities and roots for their success. They do this because people will often travel between all area towns when visiting.

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