PIERRE, S.D. – A cooperative campaign aimed at combating rising fuel prices and a predicted slump in summer tourism travel proved to be an overwhelming success. The “Twenty Bucks for the Road” campaign, launched in the spring of 2006, was a partnership between the South Dakota Office of Tourism, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).
The campaign issued 31,607 vouchers for $20 worth of ethanol enriched fuel to potential out-of-state visitors from 15 states. Of the vouchers issued, 13,904 were redeemed and honored by South Dakota retailers from May 1, 2006 – August 31, 2006. This represents a 44 percent redemption rate.
Other findings included:
- Amount of ethanol-enriched fuel purchased was $456,251.69. This amount represents $179,053.54 in additional fuel purchase over the $20 voucher.
- Average distance traveled to redeem was 224.75 miles.
- Longest distance traveled to redeem was 1,345 miles.
“The ‘Twenty Bucks for the Road’ campaign proved to be an unexpected and pleasant surprise,” said Governor Mike Rounds. “The success of the partnership between the Office of Tourism, ACE and EPIC benefited both the ethanol industry and the entire state of South Dakota. Working together, we were able to draw national attention to South Dakota and overcome obstacles such as higher-than-average temperatures and increasing gas prices.”
The Office of Tourism’s 2006 Intercept Study found that the daily economic impact of one travel party to South Dakota was $221.77, and that the average length of stay for a travel party was 4.2 days. Based on 13,904 redemptions, the economic impact of the campaign was $12,950,658.34.
The “Twenty Bucks for the Road” campaign earned national media attention from publications like USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The coverage of these and several other media outlets is estimated to have reached 27,170,000 people. When combined with the paid media placement, “Twenty Bucks for the Road” is estimated to have reached 58,222,752 people through readership and circulation.
The “Twenty Bucks for the Road” campaign was developed by the South Dakota Office of Tourism and Lawrence & Schiller. The campaign is a key component of the 2010 Initiative goal to double visitor spending.