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eFYI – Featuring Your Industry – January 2018

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Greetings, Tourism Friends!

It sure was a lot of fun to see so many of you at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. We hope you found the conference educational and inspiring. And for those who couldn’t make it this year, we missed you! We are already meeting on ideas for 2019!

I have some important items that I want to quickly bring to your attention:

  1. We’d love your feedback on the Tourism Conference. If you would, please take a minute to fill out an online evaluation (see link, below). Your input is critical as we look to attract outstanding keynote speakers and create relevant break-out sessions.

  2. House Bill 1206, a bill that would repeal the half-penny tourism tax that was made permanent in 2013, will be before the House Taxation committee on Tuesday, February 6, 7:45 a.m., Room 414, at the Capitol. Industry members have been working very hard to kill this bill. THANK YOU! We put together some Talking Points to share with House Taxation Committee members. If you would like to reach out to committee members and need some facts, figures and arguments to share with them, feel free to drop me an email at James.Hagen@TravelSouthDakota.com and I will get the Talking Points to you right away.

  3. February is a busy month for the team! We have team members who have just returned from Global Travel & Trade missions to Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Our Global Media & Public Relations team just returned from an international media marketplace event in New York City. We will be back in New York City in a few weeks to participate in a media blitz and to host a Travel Massive reception for top travel writers, journalists, and influencers in the Greater New York City area. We are so thrilled to report that our reception sold out in one hour (75 attendees) and we have a waiting list of over more than 65 media members. We’re excited to tell the South Dakota tourism story to these influential members of the travel media community.

  4. We will also be busy in February attending the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show (February 9-11), the 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Sioux Falls (February 16-18), the World Archery Championships in Yankton (February 14-19), a community visit to Sisseton (February 14), and a host of other stops throughout the state. We can’t wait to see many of you during our travels!

As always, if you have any questions about anything you read in this eFYI, or if we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are so excited for 2018! THANK YOU for being such tremendous friends and partners. We hope to catch up with you soon!

All our best,




Congratulations to the Tourism Award Winners!
During the 2018 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards Night Gala, the A. H. Pankow Award was presented to Midwest Living Magazine/Meredith Corporation, the Ben Black Elk Award was presented to Craig Pugsley, and the Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award was presented to the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. The inaugural Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality & Customer Service Awards were presented to Pouran Borchardt, Rita Franz, and Dennis Scott.

2018 Conference Evaluations
If you attended the conference and haven’t yet completed an online evaluation, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The deadline is February 21.

2017 Mickelson Great Service Award Winners
The 2017 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award winners were also announced during the 2018 Governor's Conference on Tourism Awards Night Gala. The Lodge at Deadwood, Rush Mountain Adventure Park, and Crazy Horse Memorial were recognized for exceptional customer service during 2017. Congratulations to these honorees!

We also acknowledge and congratulate the finalists: Aberdeen Best Western Ramkota Hotel, Aberdeen; Arrowwood Resort at Cedar Shore, Chamberlain/Oacoma; Black Hills Vacations, Deadwood; Prairie Berry Winery & Miner Brewing, Hill City; Rapid City Best Western Ramkota Hotel, Rapid City; Rapid City Comfort Suites Hotel & Convention Center, Rapid City; Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rapid City; Redlin Art Center, Watertown; Reptile Gardens, Rapid City; Sioux Falls Clubhouse Hotel & Suites, Sioux Falls; Swiftel Center, Brookings; and Wylie Park, Aberdeen.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

Peak 2018 Great Getaways Co-op
Registration for the Peak 2018 Great Getaways Co-op program has been mailed and the online payment option is available on SDVisit.com along with full program details. The program is again a targeted direct mail piece and the cost to participate is $550. The deadline is Friday, February 16.

Global Marketing & Brand Strategy
For more information, contact
Ashley Worth

Interstate Welcome Centers
Publication Program
Online registration for the Publication Program is open. Before submitting your registration, please review the program requirements. The deadline is Friday, April 13.

Reminder: The Wilmot, Valley Springs and Vermillion Welcome Centers will be closed during the 2018 season as they undergo renovations. Please make sure you do not deliver publications to these locations.

The New Effington, Salem (eastbound, westbound), Chamberlain, Vivian and Spearfish locations will be open and accepting material during the 2018 season.

Job Announcement
We are accepting applications to fill seasonal positions for Travel Counselors and Supervisors at our five Welcome Center locations along Interstates 29 and 90. Applications may be obtained from any South Dakota Career Center or by visiting SDVisit.com.

Industry Outreach & Development
For more information, contact
Nate Johnson

2018 South Dakota Vacation Guide
The 2018 guide is now available in print and digital versions. Please contact your regional tourism associations to request hard copies of the guide for free distribution. Questions about future guides and advertising rates should also be directed to your respective regional association:

BlackHillsBadlands.com             SDGlacialLakes.com

SDMissouriRiver.com      SoutheastSouthDakota.com

2018 South Dakota Vacation Guide

2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic
Join us February 16-18 at the South Dakota Pavilion at Pheasant Fest at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The Bird Dog Parade (where we provide neckerchiefs for all the dogs) begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, and Benny Spies will be at our booth most of Saturday. Show hours are 12-8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Goodman Named to FTA Board of Advisors
Department of Tourism Deputy Secretary, Wanda Goodman, has been named the newest member of the Family Travel Associationís Board of Advisors. As the first destination member to serve on the board, she hopes her insight will help the FTA in their efforts to meet the needs of tourism boards and destination marketing organizations.

Media Coverage


(H) = writer was part of a hosting, familiarization tour and/or media visit


St. Paul Pioneer Press Online
As a result of the 2017 Buffalo Roundup press trip, South Dakota was featured in Amy Nelson’s article titled Don’t go south over the holidays. Head west to South Dakota, instead. The article appeared online, in the Sunday edition of the Pioneer Press, and in Spaces Twin Cities. (H)

The Aspen Times Online
Meredith Carroll covered South Dakota in her article titled Voyages: South Dakota – A Quick and Quirky Trip. Carroll attended the family press trip and used her experiences to cover where to stay, what to eat, and what to do across South Dakota. Her article appeared in print and online. (H)

The Saturday Evening Post
Buffalo Roundup press trip attendee Mark Orwoll covered the unique event in his article Thundering Herd: The Great Bison Round-Up of Custer State Park. Orwoll discussed the excitement surrounding the event, its history, and its purpose to maintaining a healthy herd. The Buffalo Roundup was also featured as the cover story on the magazine. (H)

Midwest Living
Timothy Meinch explored the wide variety of winter activities available in his article Winter Adventure in the Black Hills. Meinch allowed striking photographs to tell most of his story, showcasing biking, snowmobiling, ice climbing, skiing, and where to warm up with a beer.

Organic Spa
Following the 2017 Buffalo Roundup press trip, Sandra Ramani included Deadwood’s Akela Spa in her article A Sense of Place. Ramani covered the different treatments available in one of the spa industry’s leading outlets. (H)

Reisen EXCLUSIV, Germany
Ralf Johnen explored South Dakota in his article In Search of Truth for Reisen EXCLUSIV. Johnen covered iconic sights like the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and the Buffalo Roundup, as well as the personality of South Dakota culture. (H)

South Dakota Arts Council News

Calling all arts supporters: We’d like you to join us in Pierre on Thursday, February 8, for Arts Advocacy Day at the Legislature from 12 noon-3 p.m. Come represent your community, speak with your legislators, and advocate for the importance of the arts in your community!

March 1 is the deadline for funding applications to the South Dakota Arts Council. Applications are currently being accepted in all major grant categories for artists and organizations as well as for Artists in Schools & Communities Residency Grants.

For more information, contact
South Dakota Arts Council

Important Reminder

Department of Tourism Industry Calendar
Program deadlines, trade shows, international sales missions, and other important dates can be found on the Industry Calendar on SDVisit.com. The calendar is updated regularly and we encourage you to check back throughout the year.


Mobile Devices Move Beyond Customer Service to Predict Travelersí Needs and Solve Problems in Real Time (Skift)

Travel Megatrends 2018: New Online Travel Agency Leaders Reshape Their Companies (Skift)

Six Surprising Facts About the Way We Spend Our Time with Media (eMarketer)

Big Data Is a Big Priority for Brands and Agencies (eMarketer)

U.S. Travel AssociationU.S. Travel Association Updates

U.S. Travel Outlook, January 2018

U.S. Travel Association's Project: Time Off

Project: Time Off is the U.S. Travel Association’s initiative to prove the personal, business, social and economic benefits that taking earned time off can deliver.

NEW: U.S. Travel Association video report: State of the Travel Industry 2018

South Dakota Department of Tourism

Monthly Progress Report

TravelSouthDakota.com Consumer Site
SDVisit.com Travel and Tourism Industry Site
MediaSD.com Press and Media Site

Travel Professionals Site

Facebook.com Travel Professionals Facebook page
FilmSD.com South Dakota Film Office Site
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Visit www.SDVisit.com
South Dakota Department of Tourism
711 E. Wells Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501