Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee: Marcel Hanzlik

February 26, 2024

Marcel Hanzlik, past ADB president, was inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during a noon luncheon on Feb. 26 during the 50th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Jonesboro.  He was inducted along with Karen Trevino, a longtime leader in Arkansas tourism.  The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.

Born in Hempstead, Long Island, New York in 1955 to Steve and Erika Hanzlik, Marcel Hanzlik graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1972. He went on to study higher education at Arkansas State University, receiving a BS in Wildlife Management in 1976. After college, he worked as a journeyman carpenter until 1981, when he was hired by Crater of Diamonds State Park in Mufreesboro. He served as a ranger within Arkansas State Parks until 1991 at which point he was promoted to Region 3 Supervisor to oversee the operations and management of 13 parks in eastern Arkansas. Hanzlik had a distinguished career within Arkansas State Parks for 39 years and 10 months, retiring in June of 2020.

In addition to his work with Arkansas State Parks, Hanzlik has dedicated himself to promoting Arkansas and the Delta region by volunteering for numerous organizations. For 32 years he has been a member of the Arkansas Delta Byways Tourism Association, which promotes tourism for 15 counties in eastern Arkansas. Hanzlik was the first president when the organization was formed in 1993. He took back the position in 2002, guiding the organization until he resigned in July 2023. He is still an active board member to this day.

Hanzlik received the Arkansas Delta Byways Outstanding Member award in 2012 and was named the Arkansas Delta Byways Tourism Person of the Year in 2022. Under his leadership, Arkansas Delta Byways has received several awards at the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the latest being the Region of the Year award in 2022.

His proudest accomplishments include working to help pass Amendment 75, which established the 1/8th-Cent Conservation Sales Tax in 1996, and helping receive National Scenic Byways status for Crowley’s Ridge Parkway in 1998 and the Great River Road in 2002.

Hanzlik has been an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Volunteer Hunter’s Education Instructor since 1993. He also serves as an American Red Cross Volunteer CPR and First Aid Instructor, an American Canoe Association kayak instructor, and has served on the board and as president of the Crowley’s Ridge Country Club.

Hanzlik has contributed to Arkansas' tourism industry by delivering presentations to civic groups such as Rotary, Jaycees, and chambers of commerce throughout the Delta. He promoted Arkansas State Parks at numerous annual trade and travel shows, both in-state and out-of-state, during his decades-long career. His 39-plus years of work within Arkansas State Parks, as well as his continued dedication to promoting the state, improving economic growth, and showing pride in The Natural State, has garnered him a well-deserved place in the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame.