PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism will be honored at the annual Adrian Awards ceremony for travel marketing excellence by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). The awards ceremony will be held in February in Los Angeles, CA.

The Department of Tourism garnered three awards from the HSMAI as part of its prestigious international marketing competition. The Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales & marketing efforts in advertising, public relations, and digital marketing.

The Department of Tourism, in partnership with Lawrence & Schiller, won the following 2022 Adrian Awards:

  • Gold: South Dakota Department of Tourism | Go Great Places Integrated Campaign
    South Dakota Tourism’s goal with the “Go Great Places” campaign was to stay top of mind with travelers and reach people who were ready to safely travel again. The campaign focused on South Dakota’s wide-open spaces and outdoor attractions. These results reflect a picture of optimism, positivity and tenacity in South Dakota’s tourism industry that’s resonating with visitors and helping propel the state forward.

    Overall, this campaign led to 13.5 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 26% over 2020. In May 2021, South Dakota was officially recognized by the U.S. Travel Association as the first state to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels of visitor spending.

  • Silver: South Dakota Department of Tourism | Travel Insights Email Series
    To further recognize the department’s mission of enhancing the quality of life for South Dakota citizens, the department began an email series showing the impact of travel on South Dakota communities. The email campaign, sent to South Dakota’s tourism industry members and stakeholders, is designed to show visitor impact data in a fun, unique and intriguing way. Each email had a theme inspired by current events like the Winter Olympics or holidays.

    The four 2021 Travel Insights Email sends saw an average open rate of 27.35%, far surpassing the industry average of 20.2%.

  • Bronze: South Dakota Department of Tourism + Deadwood CVB | Deadwood Sports Betting Campaign
    When Historic Deadwood rolled out sports gambling, the Department of Tourism and Deadwood CVB collaborated to promote the new offering to increase Deadwood’s gaming handle, which generates revenue for South Dakotans. The goal of this campaign was to reach new audiences, create bookings and make Deadwood the spot for new game-day traditions.

    The campaign had more than four million impressions and saw a return on investment of $52: $1.

“It is our department’s mission to create top-notch marketing campaigns that are not only effective, but also engaging,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “Our teams thrive on telling South Dakota’s story in innovative ways that resonate with our audience.”

“The travel industry is thriving once more and poised for new growth,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The Adrian Awards celebrate the innovation and ingenuity that fuel our success and recognize the hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization leaders whose extraordinary efforts literally ‘open the doors’ to exploration and excitement. They are writing the next great chapter of travel, and HSMAI is proud to honor them.”

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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