PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism recently gained national recognition by receiving four 2021 Adrian Awards in a prestigious international marketing competition. The awards were selected from more than 600 entries.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales and marketing efforts in advertising, public relations, and digital marketing.

The Department of Tourism, in partnership with marketing agencies MMGY Global and NJF PR, and Lawrence & Schiller won the following 2021 Adrian Awards:

  • Gold: South Dakota Department of Tourism | “Great Places are Waiting” COVID-19 Campaign Strategy
    This award honored a COVID-19 recovery campaign strategy that increased consumer awareness of South Dakota's key attractions and inspired safe travel to keep the economy flowing during a challenging time. This integrated campaign drove economic impact by increasing visitation and visitor spending, while carefully monitoring national travel sentiment and protocols.
  • Gold: South Dakota Department of Tourism | ThanksGIFing Social Media Campaign
    This award-winning social media campaign included a series of unique GIFs that brought a bit of South Dakota spirit to the Thanksgiving holiday. This campaign created a timely way for South Dakota's audience to interact with the brand and virtually celebrate Thanksgiving. The GIFs garnered more than 31.5 million views and accounted for more than 346,000 engagements on the department’s platforms.
  • Bronze: South Dakota Department of Tourism + Wyoming Office of Tourism | Black to Yellow Road Trip Campaign Cooperative Marketing
    This successful cooperative marketing campaign featured attention-grabbing content and in-depth messaging that highlighted the state's tourism experiences and capitalized on the industry trend of road trips and outdoor travel. The campaign brought 268,000 engagements and generated awareness by securing 27 million impressions and 53,000 consumer hours spent interacting with brand messaging.
  • Bronze: South Dakota Department of Tourism | “Go Great Places” Campaign Strategy
    “Go Great Places” was a natural transition from the Department’s 2020 recovery campaign. This campaign highlighted parks, monuments, and outdoor attractions. It inspired people to make memories with the people they missed the most — and who matter most. The campaign helped set South Dakota state and national park visitation records, and an all-time visitor spending record.

“Our teams thrive on creating effective marketing campaigns year after year,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “We closely tracked visitor sentiment throughout 2021 and delivered content that showcased South Dakota in unique ways to audiences across the nation. Winning four Adrian Awards, and seeing our impressive economic impact numbers from 2021, demonstrates our marketing was compelling and resonated with visitors.”

The 65th annual Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing excellence in the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition. For 2021, HSMAI designed the Adrian Awards to reflect the current travel landscape with focus categories of Recovery Marketing, Recovery Campaign Evolution, Technology Innovation, and Corporate Social Responsibility in addition to traditional Adrian Award categories.

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.


Media Notes:

Visual Assets
For visual assets from the campaign and HSMAI, visit this Dropbox link.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, and HSMAI ROC. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Instagram, HSMAI Twitter, and HSMAI YouTube.


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


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