South Dakota Department of Tourism - sitemap

Hospitality and Customer Service

There are five elements to the Department of Tourism's hospitality and customer service efforts. Each one is beneficial on their own, but taken together they provide opportunities for you and your employees to excel at making your business and South Dakota something visitors will rave about.

1. Great Service Star Program

This program is a way to identify and recognize businesses that complete a set of service-related criteria. Businesses meeting the criteria are awarded a symbol to use in their marketing and post at their business to demonstrate to visitors their commitment to "Great Service." Receipt of the Great Service Star designation automatically qualifies a business for consideration for the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award.

2. Governor's Hospitality Certificate Program

Governor's Hospitality Certificates are awarded to employees who demonstrate excellent customer service within a calendar year. An employee must be nominated by his or her supervisor for this program.

3. Online Customer Service Training  (temporarily unavailable)

As of July 2017, this program is undergoing a review for potential changes and upgrades, and will be unavailable until further notice.

Primarily for front-line employees, this training is a series of eight skills that can be completed entirely online. After successful completion, employees receive certificates of completion and businesses receive certificates of participation, suitable for display.

4. Spring Hospitality Training

The Department of Tourism partners with CVBs, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations and other visitor industry organizations and businesses each spring to bring hospitality training speakers to local communities.

Organizations planning to offer spring hospitality training to visitor industry businesses are encouraged to apply to the Spring Hospitality Training Co-op for matching funds to help defray speaker costs.

Information about the training sessions for 2018 will be added as it becomes available.

5. Training sessions at the annual Tourism Conference and in partnership with local businesses and organizations.


Please contact Wanda Goodman, Deputy Secretary, for more information at 605-773-3301 or