PIERRE, S.D. – Communities and attractions across South Dakota are collaborating with the Office of Tourism to celebrate See South Dakota Week and prepare for the onset of the summer tourism season.
See South Dakota Week, May 8-16, is a salute to the travel and tourism industry. Additionally, it gives communities the perfect opportunity to prepare for summer vacationers. At least 20 South Dakota communities are planning special See South Dakota Week events, hosting community contests, launching tourism-awareness campaigns, and holding hospitality training.
“This is the week the entire visitor industry celebrates tourism in South Dakota, gears up for the summer season, and reminds itself that South Dakota’s hospitality is what keeps visitors coming back,” said Melissa Bump, director of the Office of Tourism. “That dedication to hospitality is certainly paying off. South Dakota saw more visitors than ever before in 2009, while most states saw a decrease in visitor numbers.”
South Dakota visitors spent more than $962 million last year on everything from lodging to souvenirs, which had a $2.4 billion impact on the state’s economy.
The most recent study from Global Insight shows that, without tourism, each South Dakota household would have to pay about $878 more in taxes annually to maintain the current level of state and local tax receipts.
“South Dakota’s tourism industry is a win for tourists and a win for residents,” said Richard Benda, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. “South Dakota provides visitors with affordable family-friendly experiences, and visitors help fuel the economy of our communities.”
Chambers of Commerce, Visitors Bureaus and Tourism Associations partnering with the Office of Tourism for See South Dakota Week include:
Britton, Fort Sisseton and Roy Lake
Chamberlain and Oacoma
Custer, Custer State Park, Rapid City and Spearfish
Edgemont, Hill City, Hot Springs and Keystone
Fort Pierre and Pierre
See South Dakota Week is promoted in conjunction with National Travel & 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.
Additional 2009 South Dakota Tourism Facts:
- Visitor spending – $962,702,704
- Distribution of visitor spending:
- 59 percent western South Dakota
- 41 percent eastern South Dakota
- Employment traceable to visitor industry: 33,956
- Gas and sales tax revenue: $51 million