COVID-19 and South Dakota Tourism

updated May 22, 2020


Great Places Are Waiting - 2020 Marketing Plan, Phase 2 (PDF) (5/22/2020)

Governor Noem's 'Back to Normal' Plan (PDF) (4/28/2020)

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is working to take a proactive approach to protect the health and safety of our citizens, visitors and businesses. We are in constant communication with the U.S. Travel Association, Governor Kristi Noem’s office, South Dakota congressional offices, the South Dakota Department of Health and other state and federal agencies to provide up-to-date information to South Dakota’s tourism industry partners about COVID-19.

Industry members, we encourage you to use this link to share your adjusted business hours, cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19. This information will be available for visitors on as they make travel plans.

In addition, we have gathered resources that will be helpful to you to monitor the situation and assess what it might mean for your business or community.

The following resources can be used for the most up-to-date information:


On March 13, 2020, Governor Kristi Noem announced additional response efforts for COVID-19, including declaring a state of emergency as well as recommending school closures for the week of March 16, nursing home visitation restrictions, and an executive order for state employee remote work. On March 16, the governor’s team released information regarding the Small Business Association’s disaster relief loan program. The Department of Tourism is working together with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to provide resources for this program to tourism entities across South Dakota.

  • Bring South Dakota’s reputation for hospitality, customer service and empathy to the forefront to all your conversations. Keep in mind they are looking for customer service and empathy during this difficult time. Have a flexible cancellation policy or providing alternate booking dates will serve you well.
  • Direct visitors to the resources listed above and encourage them to make their own travel decisions.
  • Direct potential visitors to the Department of Tourism’s homepage for travel alerts, especially businesses operating under alternate hours or opening dates due to COVID-19.
  • Remind visitors 1) South Dakota is open for business and 2) the importance of taking proactive measures while traveling:
    • Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Cover nose and mouth using bent elbow when coughing and sneezing.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • CDC - Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Local businesses are a wonderful and essential part of South Dakota’s Great Faces, Great Places. Please consider supporting these businesses with online shopping, takeout/delivery options, and gift card purchases.


Our team at the Department of Tourism is working diligently on this effort and is at the ready if you need to reach out to us.

Marketing and Co-Operative Marketing Program Questions:
[email protected]

Industry and Business-Related Questions:
[email protected]

Editing Business and Event Listings on
[email protected]

Media Inquiries and Interview Talking Point Questions:
[email protected]

International Information and Trade Shows:
[email protected]

As always, Secretary Jim Hagen and Deputy Secretary Wanda Goodman are available as well:
[email protected]
[email protected]

COVID-19 Resources