How does tourism and the travel industry impact South Dakota?

Sen. John Thune opened the meeting and luncheon for BH&B members

Senator ThuneRAPID CITY, S.D. – The Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association board members held the 83rd annual Membership Meeting Wednesday in Rapid City.

A special appearance from Senator John Thune opened the meeting for members.

“I have a profound appreciation for the impact that the travel industry, the tourism has on South Dakota, the way that it contributes to our economy,” Senator Thune said. ” I want to let you know that we want everything we can to make sure that we keep that part of our economy strong and vibrant.”

Here’s what was covered during the meeting:

Economic impact of tourism

  • $2 billion – Black Hills Visitor Spending from Aug. 2021-Aug. 2o22.
  • 21,500 – Black Hills jobs supported as of 2021.

Top states people visited from

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Iowa
  4. Colorado
  5. North Dakota
  6. Texas

Travel indicators

  • $456.54 million taxable sales (+9.4%)
  • $137 billion Deadwood gaming handle (+5%)
  • 4.3 million national park visits (-1.2%)
  • 54.77% hotel occupancy (+0.2%)

The Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association Meeting

Black Hills Visitor Information Center

  • 29,653 visitors
  • 394 state park passes sold
  • 14,724 off-highway vehicles permits sold
  • 92 Mickelson Trail passes sold


  • Marketing Campaigns 
    • Year-round marketing impact
      • 78.9 million total impressions
      • 2.8 million total engagements
  • South Dakota Department of Tourism Partnership 
    • Year-round marketing impact
      • 38.8 million total impressions
      • 907,000 total engagements
  • Digital Marketing
    • Social Media, email, online commercials, and targeted display ads
      • 34.4 million total impressions
      • 961,000 email subscribers
      • 1.9 million pageviews
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