PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism will host the 2023 South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism January 17-19 in Pierre. Online registration for the conference is open, and those interested in tourism, marketing and hospitality are encouraged to attend.

“The 2023 South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism has an outstanding lineup of well-respected keynote speakers and industry experts who will provide insight on marketing trends, consumer travel intentions and leadership,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “This is a phenomenal opportunity for those in travel and tourism, and those interested in learning more about the industry, to come together to learn and make valuable connections.”

The annual conference brings hundreds of people from across South Dakota and the United States together in Pierre to celebrate successes, network with peers, and educate themselves on trends in the travel & tourism.

On Thursday, January 19, the conference hosts an awards gala that will honor and recognize industry members for their contributions to tourism and highlight the 2022 economic impact of the tourism industry in South Dakota. The following awards will be presented:

  • The Ben Black Elk Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the state’s tourism industry.
  • The A.H. Pankow Award recognizes a member of the media or public relations industry who has provided exceptional coverage of South Dakota.
  • The George S. Mickelson Award honors a business/organization that shows an outstanding dedication to excellence in customer service.
  • The Peter Norbeck Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award honors a member of the South Dakota tourism industry for innovative marketing or new additions/improvements to their business or attraction that elevate the visitor experience.
  • The Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality & Customer Service Award recognizes individuals who provide remarkable customer service and demonstrate an outstanding spirit of hospitality, warmth, and genuine kindness to visitors.
  • The Rooster Rush Cacklin’ Community Award honors a community for fostering support of the Department of Tourism’s fall Rooster Rush campaign.

Online registration closes January 11. Full registration is $300, the student fee is $75 and the single-day fee is $175. On-site registration is available January 17-19 for $350.

For more information about the 2023 South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism or to register, visit www.SouthDakotaTourismConference.com.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.



Katlyn Svendsen, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301
Email: [email protected]


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