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2010 Initiative Focus of Tourism Conference

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PIERRE, S.D. – Marketing strategies, hospitality, e-commerce trends and agritourism are all session topics featured during the 2006 South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Jan. 18-19, at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre. The conference, titled Destination 2010: Get on Board, is designed to equip visitor industry members with additional tools to reach the 2010 Initiative goal of doubling visitor spending to $1.2 billion. Gov. Mike Rounds will unveil 2005 visitor spending figures during the Awards Night Gala, Jan. 19 at the conference’s closing banquet. “The 2005 visitor spending numbers are encouraging,” said Billie Jo Waara, director of the South Dakota Office of Tourism. “I believe the industry will be pleased with the progress we are making toward achieving our long-range 2010 goals.” Gov. Rounds will also present tourism’s highest awards at the banquet; the Ben Black Elk Award, which recognizes an individual or group whose passion and enthusiasm has greatly influenced South Dakota’s visitor industry; the A.H. Pankow Award for a member of the media whose coverage and promotion of the state's visitor industry is unparalleled; and the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award, honoring a business or organization dedicated to excellence in customer service. More than 500 members of the visitor industry are expected to attend the event, which is organized by the South Dakota Office of Tourism.