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eFYI – Featuring Your Industry – May 2017

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Greetings, Tourism Partners!

We hope this message finds you all well and excited that peak travel season is finally here. Are you ready to get thing started??

It was great to see so many partners during our National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) events three weeks ago. We were fortunate to have Governor Daugaard help us kick things off with press conferences in Sioux Falls and at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. These events, plus all of the events many of you hosted during NTTW, received excellent media coverage and really drove home the message of how important tourism is to our stateís economy. THANK YOU to all of you on the front lines of the industry for what you are doing to make our guests feel so welcomed, and for your work that keeps the tourism industry in South Dakota so vibrant.

As I write this message, I have been spot-checking with various partners around the state and it sounds like visitation was strong over the Memorial Day weekend. All of the research we have been reviewing points to it being a solid summer of travel for Americans. Consumer confidence is high and gas prices are holding steady, so we are optimistic that South Dakota will see another busy peak season. We have some signature events this summer, like Fort Pierre’s Bicentennial celebration, the 150th anniversary of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Pow Wow, the 80th anniversary of Reptile Gardens and the 60th anniversary of the 1880 Train, to name a few. There is plenty to see and do in our state this summer! When you can, drop me a quick note at James.Hagen@TravelSouthDakota.com and let me know what your Memorial Day weekend was like for visitation and how things are shaping up for the next couple of months.

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

  1. It will soon be 605 Day in South Dakota! We celebrate the fifth day of the six month and make it all about us! We had a really fantastic response to 605 Day last year. See more details, below.

  2. We continue to keep a close eye on the non-meandered lakes issue in the eastern part of the state (particularly in the northeastern corner). Itís a complicated issue and one that a special Legislative study group is currently focused on. To learn more about this issue, you can go to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks’ website, GFP.sd.gov. Even though public access has been restricted on 25 non-meandered lakes, there are still more than 150 meandered lakes open to provide fishing. We issued a joint press release with the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to let our citizens, out-of-state anglers and visitors know that South Dakota’s lakes are open for business this summer.

  3. The new visitor center at Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls was officially dedicated on Friday, May 19. If you havenít been to our newest state park, you have to check it out (and be sure and tell our visitors about it)! The history of the park dates back more than 8,000 years. The park site is dotted with artifacts and lands of archaeological importance, and is the largest, most significant repository of Oneota culture and history in the world. The park is stunning, with trails that lead through giant oak trees down to the banks of the Big Sioux River. The new visitor center is beautiful and contains a culture exhibit, classrooms and a theater which features a new 20-minute film about the park’s history.

  4. Several of the team and I will be heading to Washington, D.C., at the end of the week to attend the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, our nation’s largest travel-trade show. Group tour operators and journalists from more than 70 countries will attend this show to book future travel for their clients to the United States and to generate story ideas for their respective media outlets. IPW will host between 6,000 and 7,000 delegates. The South Dakota booth at the show will be home to 14 partners from throughout the state who will be working closely with one another to ‘sell’ South Dakota. We already have a record-setting number of appointments with tour operators (more than 100) as well as 40 meetings with travel writers and journalists. We have had phenomenal success at IPW the past several years and we can’t wait to get this show started as we work to attract even more international visitors and media coverage.

These are some quick highlights of what is going on. Please keep in contact with us and let us know how the summer is shaping up for you. Be sure and share with us any special events that will be occurring at your business or attraction. We will do our best to join you! And, as always, let us know when we can be of any help. Hereís wishing all of you a busy and successful peak season!

All our best,




Monday, June 5, is #605Day
We’re excited to announce the return of 605 Day! Playing off of the state’s area code, 605 Day is an opportunity for South Dakotans to come together and celebrate the state we love and call home. Share your love for South Dakota by posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #605Day. Here’s our Instagram post from 2016.

Global Marketing & Brand Strategy
For more information, contact
Stephanie Palmer

Spring Hospitality Training
At least two communities are hosting spring hospitality training sessions in June in preparation for peak season. Contact information for the Rapid City (June 7) and Custer (June 8) sessions is available on SDVisit.com.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

Shoulder Great Getaways
There are still a few spots left for the 2017 Shoulder Great Getaways Direct Mail Co-op. If you would like a spot, please let Ashley Worth know right away. The piece is open to 42 partners at a cost of $550 and will be sent to 125,000 'Bucket Lister' homes in Chicago, Denver, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Minneapolis and Omaha. This co-op piece will be in mailboxes the week of August 14. Find complete program information and registration details online at SDVisit.com.

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

2017 CenStates TTRA Conference
Plan now to head to Madison, Wisconsin, September 18-20, for the annual CenStates TTRA Conference. This year’s conference is slated to give you actionable data that you can take home and use in your plans for the coming year. And, there'll be great food to boot. Sponsorship opportunities are available and registration will be opening soon. For more information, visit www.CenStatesTTRA.com.

2017 Interstate Welcome Centers
The nine Interstate Welcome Centers opened to the public on Monday, May 15. The New Effington, Wilmot, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Salem, Chamberlain, Vivian and Spearfish centers are open seven days per week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Keep in mind that the four Tilford and Wasta centers have been permanently closed and 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

Welcome Center Revitalization Plan
The Departments of Tourism and Transportation continue implementation of the Rest Area Revitalization Plan. ADA upgrades are taking place now at the Ward rest areas and the rest areas at White Lake will follow. Additionally, the security camera system at all rest areas and welcome centers is scheduled to be upgraded. The RFP for this work is currently under review, will be awarded in July, and installation will take place in the fall of 2017. Progress is also being made on the construction of new welcome centers at Vermillion and Valley Springs, and on the expansion and remodel of the center at Wilmot. This work has been awarded and scoping meetings have been completed with the architects. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

Media Coverage


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


U.S. News & World Report
As a result of working with freelancer Erica Lamberg, the Black Hills was featured in her story, 3 Weekend Getaway Ideas for History-Loving Families, noting the City of Presidents and Mount Rushmore as must-visits. (H)

Jackie Mansky included De Smet and Hill City in her piece for Smithsonian Online, 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2017. (H)

South Dakota was recently named one of 2017’s Most Fun States in America. In fact, we landed in second place, only outranked by Nevada. The rankings were based on WalletHub’s comparison of the 50 states across 22 key indicators.

Money Inc
As a result of the Buffalo Roundup Press Trip, freelancer Matt Kirouac included Keystone’s Holy Terror Mini Golf in his Money Inc. story, Seven of the Most Unique Mini Golf Courses in America. (H)

Men’s Journal
The online version of Men’s Journal included the Watertown Brewing Company in a piece by freelancer Perri Blumberg, 20 Breweries That Grow Their Own Hops. Another piece, The 20 Best Mountain Towns in America, included Rapid City. (H)

Kreiszeitung Böblinger Bote, Germany
Buffalo Roundup guest Win Schumacher’s article Die Rückkehr der Großen Brüder (The Return of the Great Brothers) has continued to receive coverage in other German publications, including Kreiszeitung Böblinger Bote. The article received a circulation of 376,639 and a readership of 783,409. (H)

National Geographic Traveller, United Kingdom
The Crazy Horse Volksmarch was listed as one of the top 10 U.S. Festivals & Events in National Geographic Traveller (UK) with a featured photo. The article had a readership of 128,808 and a circulation of 42,936.

JFK Magazine, the Netherlands
Travel journalist Illonka Brands featured western South Dakota in a six-page article in JFK Magazine, Het Wilde Westen. The publication has a circulation of more than 35,000 copies in the Benelux region and an a value of nearly $40,000. (H)

South Dakota Arts Council News

Aqua VitaeAshley Geraets was named the 2017 Congressional Art Competition Winner for her colored pencil drawing, “Aqua Vitae (Water is Life).” Geraets, a sophomore at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, will have her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol complex, along with winning artwork from other congressional districts, for the next year.

Second place was awarded to Olivia Heinecke, a junior at Sisseton High School, for her painting, “Freckles.” Her artwork will hang in U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem’s congressional office in Washington.

The Congressional Art Competition is sponsored by Noem’s office in partnership with the South Dakota Arts Council.

For more information, contact
South Dakota Arts Council

Important Reminder

Great 8 Logo Usage
We encourage our industry partners to use one or more of the nine Great 8 logos in your marketing. More details and information about how to get and use the logo files are available on SDVisit.com, or contact Thad Friedeman at Thad.Friedeman@TravelSouthDakota.com.


Travel Habits of Americans: 42 Percent Arenít Taking a Vacation This Summer (Skift)

What Wealthy Travelers Look for in Their Vacation Rentals (Skift)

Video: Changing Behavior of Asian Travelers Is Reshaping Brand Expectations (Skift)

More than 90% of US Moms Have a Social Media Account (eMarketer)

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

U.S. Travel Outlook, May 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 report: The State of American Vacation 2017

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