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South Dakota Leads the Nation in Travel & Tourism Recovery

PIERRE, S.D. - According to the latest Economic Impact Report from the U.S. Travel Association, South Dakota leads the nation when it comes to travel & tourism recovery, tying with Florida.

“South Dakota’s great places are open for adventure. We’ve done an excellent job telling our story, and folks are visiting our wide-open spaces in strong numbers,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We welcome anyone who wants to come experience our freedom, fresh air, and hospitality.”

The latest recovery data from the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, from May 2021, shows that South Dakota’s and tourism economy has fully recovered from any negative impacts of the pandemic. In fact, South Dakota has exceeded 2019 levels for both visitation (+15%) and visitor spending (+9%) YTD through May.

“I want to thank South Dakota’s outstanding tourism industry for doing such an incredible job the past year as we faced the challenges of the pandemic,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “Their positive attitudes, grit, determination, and desire to do all they could to keep welcoming visitors to our state, while providing them with a safe and healthy experience, was nothing short of inspiring. I am proud of the fact that our industry has fully recovered and, according to our research data, could be on pace to have a record setting year.”

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.