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eFYI – Featuring Your Industry – February 2017

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Hello, Tourism Friends!

Since we last saw many of you at the Tourism Conference, we have been ushering in our 2017 marketing outreach with a bang. Here are some items that I want to quickly bring to your attention:

  1. It was SO GREAT to see so many partners at the Tourism Conference a few weeks ago. We hope you enjoyed your time in Pierre and were able to glean some valuable information and insights for your cities, towns, businesses and attractions. Be sure and check out SDVisit.com to review some of the presentations from the conference.

  2. Matador Network recently released The World’s 25 Most Inspiring Places to Visit in 2017 and we are excited to announce that South Dakota made the list! Matador chose RED SHIRT TABLE on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation/western boundary of Badlands National Park for their Top 25. Read the piece to see the exclusive company that South Dakota has joined.

  3. Historic Deadwood was just honored by True West magazine as the top true Western town of 2017! Deadwood was also selected as the Best Place to Live Like an Old West Cowboy and the Best Town for Historic Entertainment in True West’s Best of the West 2017: Heritage Travel. CONGRATS to our many friends and partners in Deadwood!

  4. Several of the team and I recently returned from a media blitz in Seattle and Los Angeles that can only be described in one word: OUTSTANDING! We met with 23 travel writers, influencers and bloggers, and the interest in our state is the best we have seen to-date on a media blitz. We also hosted a Travel Massive reception in Los Angeles that was attended by more than 60 travel influencers. We were joined at the reception by the Rushmore Mascots, who were  a major hit with the attendees. We provided our guests with South Dakota stickers, bandannas, World’s Only Corn Palace popcorn balls, beer from Sick-N-Twisted Brewery, Chubby Chipmunk truffles and mini stuffed animal bison. The networking and relationships we established for our state and industry during this outreach will pay dividends for many years to come. We were also able to land a segment on KTLA TV, Los Angeles’s #1 rated morning news show, to talk about Presidents Day and summer travel to South Dakota. Take a look at the clip of that interview and the Rushmore Mascots.

  5. While we were in Seattle and Los Angeles, other team members were attending Pheasant Fest in Minneapolis. We have heard nothing but great reports about South Dakota’s presence at the show. Pheasant Fest set an all-time attendance record this year. We can’t wait for Sioux Falls to host this event next year! Stay tuned for more details on that.

  6. On Monday, February 20, South Dakota Tourism hosted a gigantic BIRTHDAY BASH at the Mall of America in Minneapolis to honor our Presidents. We served a giant Mount Rushmore cake, gave away South Dakota-themed party favors and vacation guides, and shared all the great reasons why Minnesotans should make our state their top destination this summer. Thousands joined in our celebration! Mall officials told us it was one of the best outreaches they have ever seen. You can check out highlights of the event in our Facebook Live video.

  7. Believe it or not, our 2017 marketing schedule kicks into gear this week in our target markets. From digital marketing to alternative TV, potential visitors are going to be inspired to make South Dakota their GREAT PLACE over the course of the next several months.

  8. Finally, as I write this, we have a team member participating in a sales mission to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. Another team member has just returned from the GO WEST Show in Reno, Nevada, where we – along with six of our South Dakota industry partners – met with 65 tour operators and hosted nine Chinese tour operators to a special reception. Again, the feedback on this show has been incredible.

As you can see, South Dakota Tourism is on the move in 2017!

We are as busy as ever and truly inspired by the feedback we are receiving about our state. And, the year is only beginning! THANK YOU for the privilege of working alongside all of you to tell the South Dakota tourism story. We have so many other outstanding initiatives planned for the months ahead to get the attention of potential visitors. We’ll keep you posted on them. We are working hard, we are inspired, and we can’t wait to see what the coming months bring us. We hope to catch up with all of you soon!

All our best,




2016 Mickelson Great Service Award Winners
The 2016 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award winners were announced during the 2017 Governor's Conference on Tourism Awards Night Gala. The Saloon #10 and the Deadwood Social Club and the Quality Inn & Suites in Watertown were recognized for exceptional customer service during 2016. Congratulations to these honorees!

We also acknowledge and congratulate the finalists: Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone; Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain/Oacoma; Custer State Park, Custer; Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City; The Lodge at Deadwood, Deadwood; Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City; Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rapid City; Redlin Art Center, Watertown; Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sioux Falls; and Wylie Park, Aberdeen.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

Tourism Webinar Series
The Department of Tourism hosted the second webinar with travel media professional Kit Bernardi on Thursday, February 23. It focused on developing editorial relationships and a PDF from the session is available online until March 9. Kit and Tourism will present the third webinar on Thursday, March 9, and it will will cover branding in order to build news coverage. Check your inbox for more details in early March.

Spring Hospitality Training Co-op
Information about the 2017 Spring Hospitality Training Co-op has been mailed to regional tourism associations, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, tribal tourism offices, and economic development corporations. Organizations have the opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 in matching funds to put toward paying speaker fees. The deadline is Friday, March 17.

For more information, contact
Wanda Goodman

2017 South Dakota Vacation Guide
The 2017 guide is now available in printed 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

2017 South Dakota Vacation Guide

Great Service Designation for 2017
The 2017 tabs and plaques to first-time designees have been mailed. Designees are encouraged to display their plaques where visitors and guests can see them. The plaque demonstrates a commitment to providing great customer service. Designees are also encouraged to use the Great Service Star logo in marketing efforts. This includes vacation guide ads, brochures, letterhead, business cards, etc. Contact Thad Friedeman to request logo files via email. Great Service Star designees for 2017 are listed on SDVisit.com.

2017 Interstate Welcome Centers

Publication Program
Online registration for the Publication Program remains open. Before submitting your application, please review the program requirements. The deadline to have your application submitted is Friday, April 14. Anyone interested in displaying their publication must first complete this registration.

Closure Reminder
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. The New Effington, Wilmot, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Salem, Chamberlain, Vivian and Spearfish Welcome Centers will be open for the 2017 season.

Industry Outreach & Development
For more information, contact
Nate Johnson

NAJ-RTO Summit
The Department of Tourism attended the North American Journeys-RTO Summit in Marina del Ray, February 8-9. This marks the 10th year that the Department has attended this show. This year we had the opportunity to meet with 25 international tour operators in pre-scheduled appointments. By continually investing in this show, we see more tour operators featuring South Dakota product in their itineraries and offerings while also looking to expand on 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


Country Living
As a result of the November NYC media tour and working with freelancer Perri Blumberg, she featured South Dakota in her Country Living Online story, 28 Off-the-Grid Destinations That Will Let You Get Away From it All. Highlighting the State Game Lodge as an ideal destination to unplug. (H)

Redbook Online
As a result of working with freelancer Samantha Lefave, Deadwood’s Akela Spa was featured in her Redbook Online story, 15 Spa Weekend Ideas Your Tired Ass Deserves. (H)

Journal & Topics
Wall Drug’s 85th Anniversary was a highlight in a piece on Journal Online, a part of Journal & Topics Newspapers, which serve Chicago's northwestern suburbs. It was the first item in Midwest Celebrations Like No Other. (H)

Travel + Leisure
Badlands National Park was included in Jonathan Irish and Stephanie Payne's list of the 12 best national parks.

The New York Times
The online article, In the Badlands, Where Hope for the Nationís First Tribal Park Has Faded, describes a visit to Badlands National Park and the status of the South Unit becoming a Tribal National Park.

Travel for business, Italy
A recent article in Travel for business featured the Real America in winter time. The Italian online article covered Spearfish Canyon Lodge, snowshoeing and a variety of winter activities in South Dakota.

Berliner Zeitung, Germany
Journalist Win Schumacher featured South Dakota in a front page article for the German publication, Berliner Zeitung, which has a circulation of 125,647. Win was hosted for a FAM in South Dakota. (H)

Selling Travel, United Kingdom
The Crazy Horse Voksmarch was highlighted as part of an article about festivals and events, Rising to the occasion, in Selling Travel magazine. The mention included an image of Crazy Horse Memorial. The magazine has a readership of 44,775 in the United Kingdom.

South Dakota Arts Council News

March 1 is the deadline for South Dakota Arts Council grants. Applications are currently being accepted for Artist Grants, Project Grants, Importation of Musicians Grants, and Artists in Schools & Communities Residency Grants.

The South Dakota State Poetry Out Loud competition is coming up March 13 in Sioux Falls. It is free and open to the public, but for those who can›t make it to the live competition, it will be live-streamed on our website (details coming soon).

Governor's Awards in the ArtsThe recipients of the 2017 Governor›s Awards in the Arts were honored at a ceremony in Pierre February 15. (Click the photo to see enlarged.)

For more information, contact
South Dakota Arts Council

Important Reminder

2017 American Indian Tourism Conference
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is preparing for their 19th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference. The 2017 conference is being held September 11-14 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Visit their website for more information.


The Future Of Family Travel: Experience and Education (Skift)

4 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017 (Miles)

Instagram Users Can Now Share Up to 10 Photos and Videos in a Single Post (Adweek)

How Travel Brands Do Customer Service Right on Social Media (Skift)

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

U.S. Travel Outlook, February 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