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eFYI – Featuring Your Industry – March 2017

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Dear Tourism Friends,

Greetings from Washington, DC! I am here for a busy week of spring meetings for the National Council of State Tourism Directors, the U.S. Travel Association, and the National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Yesterday (Wednesday), I was joined by Teri Schmidt, the Director of the Sioux Falls CVB; Julie Jensen, the Director of the Rapid City CVB; and Wanda Goodman and Natasha Bothun from the department as we visited our congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of travel and tourism to our state and nation. Julie and Teri are incredible ambassadors for their cities and our state and it is always such a treat to work with them on this yearly outreach.

Also, we are very blessed to have three members of Congress who love tourism as much as we do and are incredibly supportive of our work. THANK YOU to Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Representative Noem for all of their steadfast support of our industry and for their friendship!

A few items I want to quickly bring to your attention:

  1. We are excited about National Travel and Tourism Week, May 7-13. This year’s theme is “Faces of Travel.” We have some fun things planned to put a great spotlight on our industry and on the many great faces who make it special. STAY TUNED for more details soon!

  2. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Thank you to our many industry friends who participated in our very first series of webinars (with Kit Bernardi). We want to continue to offer webinars that you find helpful to your jobs, your businesses and your communities. Please see more information below about the quick survey on how we can better serve you and to learn what future webinar topics you would like us to cover. We appreciate your feedback!

  3. We hope you enjoyed reading our 2016 Annual Report. If for some reason we missed you on the email in which we shared the report, please visit SDVisit.com to view the document. Also, county level economic data is now available on SDVisit.com. Our new 2016 image study report can also be found there. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kirk Hulstein in our department at Kirk.Hulstein@TravelSouthDakota.com or 773-3301.

  4. Please see the information below about our Welcome Centers’ opening date (and those that are now permanently closed), the publication program deadline for the centers, and some info about job openings at our Vivian Welcome Center.

We have some really outstanding and engaging marketing plans in place in the coming weeks. We are excited to engage thousands and thousands of potential visitors with some really interesting social media campaigns featuring some outstanding influencers. In addition to that, we have some exciting familiarization tours planned. Our traditional television and print media marketing is also in full force in our target markets. From our research, it looks like 2017 should be another strong year for our industry, so we are hopeful that our work will continue to inspire visitors to make South Dakota their family vacation destination this summer.

Finally, we have a Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board meeting in Historic Deadwood on Wednesday, April 12, at the SpringHill Suites. If you happen to be in the area, please know you are always welcome to attend these board meetings. We would love to see you!

Here’s wishing you a busy and good spring season as we all gear up for summer. As always, we stand ready to assist if you need our help. We hope to see you soon!

All our best,




Congratulations to the 2017 Tourism Award Winners!
During the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards Night Gala, the A. H. Pankow Award was presented to South Dakota Public Broadcasting for their passion and continuous promotion of our state’s history, destinations and way of life.

The Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award was presented to the Buffalo Chip for not only the physical improvements they have made over the years, but also the events and entertainment they have added for campers, including the Crossroads area.

The Ben Black Elk Award was presented to Maureen Droz in recognition of being an exemplary ambassador for the state of South Dakota and for 37 years of showing visitors from all over the world how warm and friendly we are in South Dakota.

Ben Black Elk Award
Click the image to view the
display at the Tourism office.

2017 Spring Hospitality Training
Several communities across South Dakota will once again host spring hospitality training sessions in preparation for peak season. The sessions will take place late April through mid-June. Information about these opportunities, including an alphabetical listing by community, will be posted on SDVisit.com as it becomes available. If you know of any training taking place, please email details to Wanda Goodman.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

Tourism Webinar Series
We have wrapped up our first three webinars. They focused on how industry members can best work with members of the media to optimize editorial coverage. Kit Bernardi, travel writer and marketing professional, hosted these webinars with us.

In order to help us critique these first three sessions as well as decide on what topics to offer in the future, please complete our three-minute webinar survey whether or not you participated in any of the first three webinars. Look for further communication from the department on opportunities to participate in future webinars.

Thank You for Joining the Tourism Webinars
It was my pleasure to work with the Department of Tourism to present the first three webinars in its new webinar series. Thank you for joining me in discussing how to get on the editorial radar, best practices to develop editorial relationships and branding that builds editorial coverage. I hope you found the sessions informative and helpful to achieve Your Great Placements. To learn more about the tourism marketing consulting services KitTravels provides, visit KitTravels.com. Also, please add me to your media list so I know what’s new and happening in your community. Thank you, Kit Bernardi, Kit@KitTravels.com

Kit Bernardi

2017 National Travel & Tourism Week
This year’s National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) takes place May 7-13 and will feature the theme, “Faces of Travel.” A key component of NTTW is Travel Rally Day, happening nationwide on Tuesday, May 9. Travel Rally Day demonstrates travel’s positive impact on local workers, businesses, economies and on the personal lives of travelers. NTTW not only unites the tourism community, but it also reminds lawmakers and media how important the travel industry is. Spread the word using the hashtag #nttw17.

National Travel & Tourism Week

2017 Interstate Welcome Centers

Help Wanted
We are still seeking applicants for Travel Counselors at the Vivian location. If you know anyone who may be interested in this seasonal position, please refer them to Nate Johnson at 773-5036.

Publication Program
This is the final reminder that the deadline for registering for the Publication Program is Friday, April 14. Before submitting your online application, please review the program requirements. Anyone interested in displaying their publication must first complete this registration.

Center Status
The New Effington, Wilmot, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Salem, Chamberlain, Vivian and Spearfish Welcome Centers will be open for the 2017 season starting Monday, May 15. The Tilford and Wasta Welcome Centers have been permanently closed and will no longer accept printed material. Please make sure you are not delivering publications to these locations.

Industry Outreach & Development
For more information, contact
Nate Johnson

Go West Summit
The Department of Tourism attended the Go West Summit in Reno, Nevada, February 21-22. Six South Dakota partners also attended the show, promoting hotels and attractions across the state. We met with more than 75 international tour operators in pre-scheduled appointments. We also hosted nine Chinese tour operators and decision makers for an evening of dining and education. By continuing to invest in this show, we see more operators featuring South Dakota in their itineraries and offerings while also looking to expand future tours.

Global Travel & Trade
For more information, contact
Alexa Steiner

Media Coverage


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


Travel Channel
The Black Hills was named one of the 10 Most Popular Road Trip Routes in the US by the Travel Channel. Specifically mentioned were the Badlands Scenic Byway, Wall Drug, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave.

Country Living
There was further coverage from freelancer Perri Blumberg. She featured the Black Hills of South Dakota in her Country Living story, 20 Unexpected Weekend Getaways to Plan This Summer. (H)

Star Tribune
Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg featured Badlands National Park in her story, Great Spring Break Spots, A Car Ride Away, noting its dramatic landscape and naming it a bucket list destination. The piece also ran in the Star Tribune’s March 5 issue. (H)

Freelancer Lauren Matison featured Circle View Guest Ranch in her Parents story, 50 Farm Stay Vacation Spots for Families in Each State, noting the ranch's close proximity to Badlands National Park, as well as its 1880 Homestead, on-property activities and farm-to-table offerings. (H)

Sioux Falls was named one of 2017’s Best Cities for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. They came in at 19th place, based on WalletHub’s analysis of 200 of the most populated U.S. cities across four key dimensions. In another piece, Sioux Falls was tabbed 5th Happiest Place to Live in the U.S.

In a piece for Expedia’s ViewFinder travel blog, Sioux Falls was named one of 21 super cool US cities. Things like breweries, farmers markets and JazzFest were cited as highlights of the city.

Le Monde, France
Laura Ingalls Wilder and De Smet’s Little House on the Prairie were included in an article by journalist Thomas Doustaly in the French magazine, Le Monde. The article, Où voyager en 2017 ?, had a circulation of more than 260,000.

Hart voor Dieren, the Netherlands
The Dutch magazine, Hart voor Dieren, ran a piece on bison and included Rapid City, Badlands National Park and Tatanka Rez Tours in a multi-state travel itinerary of what to do and see in the area. The article has a value of over $1,290 and a circulation of 61,000.

LOWRIDE, a monthly motorcycle publication in Italy, included a South Dakota Sturgis article from the 2016 Rally. The article featured Sturgis, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Crazy Horse Memorial and more. It had a circulation of more than 95,000.

South Dakota Arts Council News

Poetry Out LoudOn Monday, March 13, eight high school students from across South Dakota competed for the state title at the Poetry Out Loud contest in Sioux Falls. Maddie Lukomski, a Lincoln High School senior from Sioux Falls, was the 2017 winner. Read the full release for more details. Watch the archived event online.

For more information, contact
South Dakota Arts Council

Important Reminder

Great Service Star Logo
If your business, organization or attraction has earned the Great Service Star designation for 2017, you are encouraged to use the logo in your marketing efforts. For electronic files of the logo, contact Thad Friedeman at Thad.Friedeman@TravelSouthDakota.com.


Micro-Influencers Are More Effective With Marketing Campaigns Than Highly Popular Accounts (Adweek)

Affluent Travelers Increasingly Turning to Hiking and Upscale Hotel Packages (Skift)

10 Key Digital Trends for 2017: Our Predictions for What Will—and Won't—Happen Next Year (eMarketer)

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

U.S. Travel Outlook, March 2017

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: Project: Time Off video report: State of the Travel Industry 2017

South Dakota Department of Tourism

Monthly Progress Report

www.TravelSouthDakota.com Consumer Site
www.SDVisit.com Travel and Tourism Industry Site
www.MediaSD.com Press and Media Site
www.FilmSD.com South Dakota Film Office Site

Travel Professionals Site

www.Facebook.com Travel Professionals Facebook page
Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Pinterest     Social Media                  
Visit www.SDVisit.com
South Dakota Department of Tourism
711 E. Wells Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501