PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Office of Tourism encourages South Dakotans to discover the state’s great traditions this summer. The campaign, called See South Dakota Week, takes place May 10-16 and also stresses the importance the visitor industry has on local economies.
"Tourism is South Dakota’s second largest industry, and every citizen makes a difference," said Richard Benda, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. "Our tradition of hospitality resonates with visitors long after they leave the state, and it makes them come back year after year."
The Office of Tourism is collaborating on See South Dakota Week with Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Bureaus in Aberdeen, Brookings, Chamberlain/Oacoma, Huron, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. Each partner community is planning special events during See South Dakota Week, from hospitality training sessions to community contests and tourism-awareness promotions.
Tourism has a significant impact on South Dakota’s economy. Last year, visitors spent more than $967 million on everything from lodging to souvenirs, which had a $2.42 billion impact on the state’s economy.
2008 South Dakota Tourism Facts:
- Visitor spending, not adjusted for inflation: $967,028,692
Distribution of visitor spending
- 57.7% western South Dakota
- 42.3% eastern South Dakota
Employment traceable to the visitor industry: 33,720
Gas and sales tax revenue: $45.8 million
"South Dakota has a wide variety of options for not only visitors, but for all of us who live here," said Melissa Bump, director of the Office of Tourism. "See South Dakota Week serves to educate and encourage South Dakotans to explore the state and discover our great traditions."
See South Dakota Week is promoted in conjunction with National Tourism Week, which was established in 1983 by the U.S. Travel Association to promote the importance of travel and tourism as a major U.S. industry.
See South Dakota Week is part of Goal 1 of the 2010 initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota.