Tourism Season has a promising outlook
Soon the hills will be full of visitors traveling for the summer season. In preparation of the influx of people, the Black Hills & Badlands Association hosted their Travel Rally Day on Tuesday, it's all a part of National Travel and Tourism Week.
The Travel Rally Day consisted of hospitality training, parks and attractions meeting and literature swap at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The state’s tourism website traffic is up and the tourism promotion tax brought in a record setting number in March. All signs point to a strong tourism season this year.
Michelle Thomson, President of the Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association, says, “2021 is looking to be absolutely amazing. We’ve got hotels and cabins and campgrounds all throughout the area that are telling us they are filling up or are full already. Attractions are opening up and excited abbot the season, and we really think this is going to be a banner year.”
According to Jim Hagen, the South Dakota Secretary of Tourism, South Dakota is getting interest from audiences across the nation they haven’t before which may be credited to Gov. Noem’s approach through the pandemic as well as the national tourism marketing campaign.
Hagen says, “We are already seeing a lot of visitors to South Dakota, they are spending money. We know that because that tourism tax is coming in at record break-in numbers and that bodes very well for summer travel in South Dakota.”
One challenge of the tourist season will be the shortage of labor, the industry is figuring out new ways to spotlight seasonal jobs nationally.
South Dakota leads the state in best performing in terms of growth and recovery.
Hagen adds, “And South Dakotans are known world wide of rather hospitality, we really are. Every where we go around the country, even arrow the globe, people say Oh I’ve been to South Dakota, people were so friendly there – it felt like being at home.”