COVID-19 Weekly Research Update


August 7, 2020

Happy Friday, Industry Friends!

I’m sure many of you can hear the rumble of bikes today as Rally-goers are making their way across the state. We are excited to welcome visitors from around the country to experience our Great Faces and Great Places in a safe and responsible manner. We know you will do your part to help keep our guests safe while they are here, and will provide them with the world-class hospitality we’re known for. THANK YOU for that!

Here are a few highlights from the latest COVID-Weekly Update.

  • South Dakota ranked 3rd for year-over-year domestic travel bookings last week, outperforming all other states but Wyoming and Montana.
  • For the week of August 1, travel spending in South Dakota was down -27% compared to the same time last year. That is the best in the region. Travel spending in North Dakota was down -37%, Minnesota was down -50%, and Wyoming was down -28%.
  • For the week ending August 1, national travel spending inched up 2%, but is still down (-48%) from last year’s levels.
  • National hotel occupancy seems to be leveling off and remains around the 50% mark for most destinations.
  • Roughly half of all travelers (49%) do have travel planned for the remainder of 2020.
  • While relatively few (16%) Americans think the situation will improve in the next month, the percentage of those who think the pandemic will get worse dropped from 62% to 54%.
  • Nearly 70% of survey respondents say COVID-related concerns are important to them when selecting where they plan to visit.
  • Three in four survey respondents (76%) expect to travel more in the next year after not being able to travel now

Thank you to our research partners for providing this information: Tourism Economics, Destination Analysts, STR, U.S. Travel Association, Arrivalist, Miles Partnership, MMGY Travel Intelligence, ADARA, and Longwoods International.

We are excited to share some new relocation information we just published on Almost daily over the past few months, we have received emails from people around the country not only wanting to visit, but also seriously considering moving to South Dakota to experience all that our great state has to offer. We want to provide them with pertinent information to help make that decision. We will continue to add new content to these pages in the weeks ahead. Please feel free to share this relocation information with any folks who may be contacting your office or business about moving to our state.

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure and fill out the 2021 Governor's Conference on Tourism survey that we sent out to the industry last week. We need your input and thoughts about the conference and how you would like to see it conducted. You can access the survey here. We appreciate your help! The deadline for responding to the survey is Wednesday, August 12th.

Finally, just a reminder to be sure and reference our health and hygiene resource page on to find great tips and information about keeping your business, your employees, and our guests safe and well while they are in South Dakota.

Take good care! Happy Rally Week!

All our best,
Jim & Team

Jim Hagen
Secretary of Tourism



Department of Tourism COVID-19 Resource Page
State of South Dakota COVID-19 website