PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism is aligning with the U.S. Travel Association, South Dakota communities, chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, May 6-12.
“Tourism in South Dakota has been positively impacting our state for generations,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “From the first blasts on Mount Rushmore National Memorial that piqued visitors’ curiosity, to new attractions opening up all across the state every year, tourism is an economic driver in our state and we are proud to celebrate it with the tens of thousands of South Dakotans who are employed in the industry.”
Nationwide, the tourism industry supports the livelihoods of more than 15.6 million Americans. Spending by travelers throughout the U.S. currently totals over $1 trillion annually. In South Dakota visitors spent $3.9 billion in 2017, which sustained a total of 53,984 jobs, or 8.9 percent of all jobs in the state.
“This week is about celebrating the positive impact that tourism has on our state, our communities and our families. It’s also a time to put a spotlight on the thousands of South Dakotans who work in the tourism industry and provide the friendly, world-class hospitality that we have become famous for,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism.
National Travel and Tourism Week is in its 35th year and is an annual acknowledgment of the impact of travel on states, regions, cities and the entire United States. During the first full week in May each year, communities nationwide unite to showcase the impact of travel.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.
Katlyn Richter, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism