South Dakota sets record with 2021 visitor spending
PIERRE, S.D. — Visitor spending reached an all-time high in South Dakota in 2021 with $4.4 billion being spent. This is a 30% increase from 2020.
According to the Tourism Economics study, South Dakota’s record breaking visitor spending surpassed all previous records by 6%. Due to this spending, South Dakota was the first state to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels of visitor spending.
The state also welcomed 13.5 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 26% from 2020.
“South Dakota’s tourism industry stayed open for business and open for visitors, working tirelessly to support millions of visitors who chose South Dakota as their vacation destination,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Their record-breaking efforts have contributed to our state’s record revenues, jump-starting our state’s economy to make it the strongest in the nation.”
Tourism is essential for South Dakota’s economy. 54,208 jobs were supported by tourism and generated $1.8 billion in income for those jobs and local households.
“Tourism in South Dakota is a job-creating, revenue-generating machine that plays a vital role in supporting the state’s economy year after year,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. “It’s not just valuable for the State of South Dakota, these efforts impact communities and families throughout our state.”
$344 million in state and local tax revenue was generated from tourism in 2021. Without this, each household would have to pay an additional $980 in taxes.
South Dakota also saw a record number of 8.3 million visitors to state parks.