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Tourism Partners with CVBs in “Explore South Dakota” Campaign

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PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Office of Tourism, in partnership with 12 local convention and visitors bureaus, is encouraging South Dakotans to look in their backyard for close-to-home vacation ideas. The “Explore South Dakota” campaign also stresses the importance the visitor industry has on the economies of communities and the state. “This campaign is designed to help South Dakotans realize the endless travel opportunities available right in their home state,” said James Hagen, secretary of Department of Tourism and State Development. “The best way to ensure that tourism continues to benefit South Dakota’s communities is for our residents to become ambassadors for their town. While it may be our wonderful attractions and cultural treasures that bring them here the first time, it’s the people of South Dakota that will bring them here a second, third or fourth time.” “Explore South Dakota” is a collaborative effort between the Office of Tourism and the Aberdeen CVB, Brookings CVB, Chamberlain-Oacoma CVB, Deadwood Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Huron CVB, Corn Palace CVB of Mitchell, Pierre CTB, Rapid City CVB, Sioux Falls CVB, Spearfish CVB, Watertown CVB and Yankton CVB. The campaign ties into National Tourism Week, May 7-15. As part of the campaign, each organization is promoting a trivia contest that challenges South Dakotans to learn more about their community. Winners will receive various travel prizes. Tourism has a significant impact on South Dakota’s economy. Last year, visitors spent $752.2 million on everything from lodging to souvenirs which had a $1.88 billion impact on the state’s economy. 2004 South Dakota Tourism Facts • Visitor spending: $752.2 million compared to $698 million in 2003 • Distribution of visitor spending: 57.6% western South Dakota 42.4% eastern South Dakota • Economic impact: $1.88 billion statewide • Employment traceable to visitor industry: 33,107 jobs • Gas and sales tax revenue: $44.7 million • Visits to More than 3.1 million, accounting for more than 10.3 million page views. National Tourism Week was established in 1983 by the Travel Industry Association of America to promote the importance of travel and tourism as a major U.S. industry.