Sanders’ Natural State Initiative Issues Recommendations to Take Arkansas’ Outdoor Economy to the Top

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders today received a report from the Natural State Initiative advisory council detailing the group’s recommendations to increase access to outdoor recreation and grow Arkansas’ outdoor economy. The Governor established the Natural State Initiative at the beginning of her term through Executive Order, requiring an annual written report summarizing its progress. Arkansas’ First Gentleman, Bryan Sanders, leads the group’s advisory council.

“Arkansas is the Natural State, and our mission is to establish Arkansas as a leading destination for year-round outdoor adventure,” said First Gentleman and Natural State Initiative Advisory Council Chair Bryan Sanders. “I’m proud of this group’s work and encourage Arkansans to read the report and offer their input and feedback. Together, we can make our state not only the best place to visit and spend time outdoors, but to live, work, and raise a family.”

“Since its inception earlier this year, The Natural State Initiative has worked to help leverage Arkansas’ unmatched natural beauty to promote tourism and grow our outdoor economy,” said Shea Lewis, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “The initiative has been an important step in Governor Sanders’ bold approach to involve multiagency and private partners working together to ensure that Arkansas does not just compete in the outdoor economy space, but rather, is a true national leader in outdoor recreation and the outdoor economy. The initiative has provided a framework to market the beauty and potential of The Natural State to the world for recreation tourism and outdoor business opportunities.”

The Natural State Initiative’s topline recommendations are below. A full list of the group’s recommendations and proposed ways to achieve them can be found here.

•    Invest in enhancing the Arkansas State Park experience
•    Establish Arkansas as a year-round tourism destination
•    Further enhance Arkansas’ outdoor economy
•    Educate Arkansans to the personal and economic benefits of a thriving outdoor economy
•    Promote careers in outdoor recreation, tourism, and hospitality
•    Provide greater investment in and support to those engaged in Arkansas’ outdoor economy
•    Grow the Arkansas Delta Recreation Economy, and;
•    Use mobile technology as a driver to fuel the outdoor economy


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