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South Dakota Tourism Experiences Largest Increase in State History

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PIERRE, S.D. – The amount of money spent by travelers in South Dakota jumped $96 million last year1. It’s the largest single-year increase the state’s industry has ever seen. Overall, tourism generated a record-setting total of $1,059,201,4171, breaking the one billion mark for the first time. In terms of total dollars spent, the growth is the largest one-year jump since the state started tracking visitor spending nearly three decades ago.
“Especially at a time when the economic recovery in America has been shaky and many feared a double dip recession, to see visitor spending in South Dakota increase 10% in one year is phenomenal,” says Jim Hagen, Secretary of Tourism for South Dakota. “It speaks volumes to the hard work of everyone in the visitor industry. We’re working together to attract more visitors and encourage them to do more while they’re here.”
Visitor spending includes money spent directly on hotel rooms, food and beverages, attractions and entertainment, as well as some types of transportation and shopping. Indirect traveler dollars reach nearly all business sectors of South Dakota’s economy through products and services purchased by tourism businesses, earned wages and the items employees purchase. All together the estimated total economic impact of tourism in South Dakota during the past year is nearly $2.65 billion1.
“Tourism is a great investment opportunity,” said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. “Traveler activity generated $265 million in state and local taxes last year. The economic impact of tourism is felt in every South Dakota county – creating jobs and generating new tax revenue.”
·        Tourism generated 20% of all state & local tax revenue in 2010. 2
·        More than 28,000 jobs were supported by core travel & tourism economic activity. 2
·        Tourism activity generated $265 million in state and local government revenue in 2010, an increase of 4.8% over 2009.
·        Without tourism, each household would pay about $828 more in taxes. 2
·        Every 434 visitors create a new job in South Dakota. 2
1.      Economic and Fiscal Impacts Study by Dr. Michael Madden
2.      2010 Tourism Satellite Account by IHS Global Insight
IHS Global Insight, an internationally-known research and forecasting firm, has been commissioned by the Office of Tourism since 2008 to better measure the economic impact of tourism on the South Dakota economy.  Global Insight provides the Tourism Satellite Account which is the international standard for measuring the contribution of tourism to an economy. By using this study from Global Insight, the Office of Tourism receives the benefits of credibility, comprehensiveness, comparability and consistency. The TSA will be the standard report used by the Office of Tourism in coming years.
To view the Global Insight report and the full Madden report, including county-by-county spending numbers, visit