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2009 Governor's Conference on Tourism: Making the Connection

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PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Office of Tourism invites all visitor-related businesses to attend the 2009 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, January 21-22 in Pierre.

The theme of the 2009 conference is Destination 2010: Making the Connection.

"Tourism contributed more than $2 billion to the state's economy last year and a big part of that success was the connection made with industry partners from across the state. We saw an 8.8 percent growth in visitor spending and job creation in the visitor industry was up, as well. This conference is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase those successes to the legislature and all of South Dakota," said Richard Benda, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.

The conference will feature expert-led sessions on a variety of topics, including tips for online marketing, ideas for going green, agritourism partnerships and research tips. Director Melissa Bump will present plans for 2009, and Governor Mike Rounds will unveil the 2008 visitor spending figures during the Awards Night Gala and closing banquet, January 22.

"We as an industry need to make the connection between where we are now and where we see ourselves in 2010," said Melissa Bump, director of the South Dakota Office of Tourism. "The annual conference allows us to gather in one place to share ideas and move forward in the same direction, working together to achieve our goals for 2010."

Online registration for the 2009 conference opens on November 10. Continue to visit and click on the Tourism Conference icon for updates.

The 2009 Governor’s Conference on Tourism is a key component of Goal 1 of the 2010 initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota.