SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – With summer just around the corner, tourist season is here as well.
South Dakota is experiencing a spike in tourists, not just in the summer, but year round. With that, the Department of Tourism is partnering with places around the state to help promote the growing industry.
Falls Park brings in visitors from across the country.
“Sioux Falls has blossomed into a destination with all the great restaurants and the breweries and the wineries and the entertainment and of course, Sculpture Walk and you look at the Levitt Pavilion and what that’s going to do and the Washington Pavilion. There’s just a lot to see and do here and it is a great family, friendly city,” Department of Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen said.
Tourism now generates nearly $300 million in state and local taxes. The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking at ways to bring more money into the state.
“Also testing some fly-in markets and getting some good traction there. This year, we’re also running some partner co-ops here locally in Sioux falls where we’re doing some retargeting efforts and those are off to a great start as well,” Krista Orsack said.
So, what does that mean to you? The department estimates last tourist season saved each South Dakota household $865 in taxes.
“Last year, we welcomed 14.1 million visitors; that was a record for us. They spent almost $4 billion; that was a record. Tourism in this state is employing 55,000 South Dakotans so those are our friends, our family, our neighbors,” Hagen said.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism is hosting industry outreach and marketing update meetings throughout the state this month.