Arkansas tourism partners from across the state today honored the 2016 winners of the annual “Henry Awards” during a luncheon at the 42nd Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held March 13-15 in Springdale. The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state’s tourism industry in the preceding year.
Governor Asa Hutchinson presided at the banquet and addressed nearly 500 attendees about tourism issues in Arkansas. Kane Webb, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, served as master of ceremonies and Miss Arkansas 2015 Loren McDaniel assisted in the presentation of the awards.
The winners were:
- Tourism Person of the Year: Tom Walton, Walton Family Foundation and RopeSwing, Bentonville
- Media Support Award: Arkansas Life, Little Rock
- Bootstrap Award: Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, Marshall
- Arkansas Heritage Award: Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Little Rock
- Grand Old Classic Special Event Award: King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena-West Helena
- Outstanding Volunteer Service Award: Adam Davis, Mammoth Spring
- Community Tourism Development Award: City of Fairfield Bay
- The Natural State Award: Razorback Regional Greenway, Northwest Arkansas
The Henry Awards have been a feature of the annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism since their debut in 1981. The awards are named for Henri de Tonti, founder of Arkansas Post in 1686, and who is often hailed as the first “Arkansas Traveler.”