COVID-19 Weekly Research Update


June 19, 2020

Happy Friday, Tourism Friends!

Here are the latest COVID-19 weekly research highlights:

  • South Dakota is outpacing our neighboring states as travel spending improved from -53% to -46% this past week.
  • The latest analysis from the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics reveals that while the US economy has fallen into a recession, the travel industry is in a depression. Read the fact sheet here.
  • This year alone, domestic travel spending is expected to decline by 40% (from $972 billion in 2019 to $583 billion in 2020).
  • The southeastern region in South Dakota experienced the sharpest decline in hotel occupancy for the month of May, decreasing -54.6%, followed by the northeastern region at -41.4%.
  • Road trips to and within South Dakota increased by 14.8% from the prior week, outpacing all surrounding states.
  • Among Americans who are expecting to travel in 2020, most say they will avoid crowded destinations (53%) and many say they will avoid attending conferences (46%), air travel (34%) and/or cities/urban areas (25%).
  • Americans are feeling more comfortable about visiting familiar destinations than new destinations; more than 60% say it is likely that the primary destination of their next leisure trip would be one they have visited before.

I want to encourage all of you to continue being diligent about having top-notch health and hygiene protocols in place to ensure the safety of our visitors and your employees. There isn’t anything more important right now. As I shared a few weeks ago in an update, Henry Harteveldt from the Atmosphere Research Group stated in an article that, “Cleanliness, hygiene and health will be the ‘holy trinity’ of summer travel decision-making.” THANK YOU for everything you are doing so our visitors can safely enjoy our Great Faces and Great Places.

Enjoy your weekend!

All our best,
Jim & Team

Jim Hagen
Secretary of Tourism



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