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Arkansas is the canvas for 2013 Travel South Showcase

Liz Bittner and Mac Lacy

“Our travel consultants in those centers make a point of sending travelers to what we call the ‘real Arkansas,’” said Rice. “We’re sending people to places like Eureka Springs and Pine Bluff and other cities that really highlight our authentic culture.”

Delegates were treated to an evening event at the Clinton Presidential Center; entertainment by an Ozark Mountain music band, Harmony; and an endearing presentation by Southern chef and author Robert St. John. Many also joined Bittner at a fundraiser for Heifer International at Cajun’s Wharf restaurant that netted more than $7,500 for the Little Rock-based global sustainability effort.

“Showcase delivered more than $500,000 in direct economic impact during the show,” said Bittner, “and we expect to deliver another $500,000 or more in ad value equivalency from our visiting travel writers — not to mention the impact of thousands of groups returning to Arkansas over the next 18 months as a result of this exposure.”

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.