Tourism hits a high note in Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tourism is big business for the city of Sioux Falls! Last year alone visitors brought more than $486 million into the city.

Now with summer tourist here, more people are adding Sioux Falls to their travel list! Visitors from all 50 states, and 72 different countries have signed the guest book at Falls Park.

“Who are our true visitors? And how often do they come back? Should we continue to market to these states or states,” said Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Teri Schmidt.

There were 2 million visitors in Sioux Falls last year alone. Those are just the ones the city can actually count!

“How many times do we all go to a location, to another city, to visit for something and you might check into a hotel but nobody knows why you’re there. So those people we really can’t count,” said Schmidt.

The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau has been able to count a significant number of international visitors.

The number of people from other countries who are adding Sioux Falls to the top of their travel list is thanks to marketing done outside the U.S.

“I think the perception is that maybe they all go West River, to the Black Hills. And many of them do make that their destination, but more and more our research is proving that Sioux Falls is becoming a destination for international travelers,” said Schmidt.

So why is Sioux Falls such a growing tourism destination? Schmidt says the city on the river has the perfect mix of what people are looking for in a summer vacation.

“Downtown, Sculpture Walk, the Arc is going to be big! The river, Falls Park. The experiences people can have and enjoy while they’re here. That’s what they’re looking for and we’ve got it,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt says they start planning for the next summer tourism season as early as October. She says research shows many people start making their summer travel plans in November.

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