Visit Rapid City continues celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week

RAPID CITY, S.D. — May 3 is known as Travel Rally Day, a day during National Travel and Tourism Week to spotlight the importance of local travel industries. This year’s theme is the future of travel.

The Visit Rapid City Office On Main StreetJoined by community business leaders and city officials, Visit Rapid City President and CEO Brook Kaufman mapped out her plans for the future of travel to the Rapid City and Black Hills region.

Kaufman is taking into account the dramatic effect the last two years have had on travel into the state and applying it to this season and those to come.

“South Dakota really did have what the American traveler wants, and they continue to have it,” Kaufman said. “So now for us, it’s to say – how do we do that sustainably, how do we do that responsibly, how do we protect those assets.”

According to Kaufman, American travelers look for vacation factors such as road trips, wide-open spaces and national parks. During the 2021 season alone, over 13 million visitors vacationed in the state, contributing more than $4 billion in revenue during their stay.

Both Rapid City and Pennington County also saw an uptick in visitors, as well ashundreds of thousands of tourists passing through.

However, this year as international markets open again, state tourism officials are also ready to reach out to foreign markets once more.

“We’ve kept that messaging going throughout the pandemic. So, we have been staying top of mind for those visitors that maybe weren’t able to travel to South Dakota in the past few years,” Global Travel Trade Director for Travel South Dakota, Cole Irwin said. “But now they know, since borders have reopened, South Dakota’s a great destination for them. Especially if they want to get that wide-open spaces, the great outdoors and history that we have here.”

Plans are currently in the works to maintain the state’s attractions that keep bringing people back – something Kaufman takes pride and care in doing.

“It’s a neat position to be on the precipice of saying – how do we set this up for the future,” Kaufman said. “I think that’s one of our responsibilities to this place – is how do we make sure that we are doing our part today to make sure that it is what it’s supposed to be in the future.”

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Business, Local News, South Dakota News