A look ahead at the 2021 travel season in South Dakota

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – If you’re thinking about a road trip to the Black Hills, or plan to spend some time at Falls Park this summer, you are not alone. Both locations are bracing for crowds.

Experience Sioux Falls is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week as it looks ahead to the busy summer travel season.

“The summer is looking really good and so consumers are saying they are ready to get out and travel, nearly 90% of Americans are ready to hit the road and ready to take a vacation,” South Dakota Secretary of Tourism, Jim Hagen said.

While the state has a lot to offer, Sioux Falls leaders are optimistic that visitors will have the city as one of their travel destinations.

“We have over 31 sporting events already booked, we know leisure travel numbers are up, people are really feeling kind of caged up and ready to get out of the house,” executive director Experience Sioux Falls, Teri Schmidt said.

“Sioux Falls specifically, we are no longer just a get gas location on your way to the hills, we are a one, two, three day stop, or sometimes a permanent tourist destination, and that’s been a change for us, a great change,” Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken said.

Hagen says in 2020 the state welcomed 12.6 million visitors. This year he expects numbers to grow.

“As we move into 2021 we are seeing all sorts of records being set in terms of website visits to travelsouthdakota.com, we are seeing a record number of visitors request vacation guides, sign up for e-newsletters, so everything is just boding really well for summer travel in South Dakota this summer,” Hagen said.

Hagen says there has been difficultly filling tourism jobs and that they are working on ways to address that.

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