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Ozark Gateway’s Cathy Drew inducted into Hall of Fame

Tourism industry partners from across the state came together this week for the 44th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in West Memphis.

On Monday, March 12, 2018, Gov. Asa Hutchinson inducted Batesville native Cathy Drew into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame.

Drew has been the executive director of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council since 2000 and has been instrumental in development and promotion of tourism in the region. Drew is also the chairperson of the Batesville Advertising and Promotions Commission.

The Henry Awards took place on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state’s tourism industry in the preceding year.

The Community Tourism Development Award was presented to the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Batesville and the City of Batesville for their combined efforts to maximize the area’s potential. (Read about and watch a video of the presentation here.)

“While we feel the work has only just begun, we are honored to be recognized in front of our peers from across the state. We look forward to building off both the private and public accomplishments made in recent years to continue the drive of improving our community in every way” said Kyle Christopher tourism director of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to the 2017 Arkansas Tourism Economic Impact report produced by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, total travel expenditures in Independence County were up by $5,115,660.00 in 2017 compared to the previous year. Notable Independence County statistics include:

Total Travel Expenditures (Dollars): 50,611,434

Travel-Generated Employment (Jobs): 527

Visitors (Person-Trips): 204,852

2018_Tourism_Hall_of_Fame_Cathy_Drew_KSJ_5384Cathy Drew
2018_Henry_Awards_Tourism_Development_Batesville_KSJ_7222From left: Kane Webb, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Kyle Christopher and Crystal Johnson of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Damon Johnson of the City of Batesville, Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton / Images via Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism


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Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at


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