PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism has announced the launch of two new hospitality recognition programs for tourism industry employees and businesses.

“South Dakota’s hospitality and customer service are second to none,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Our new Great Face and Great Place programs reflect the thing that I love most about South Dakota: our people. South Dakotans take care of each other and visitors alike.”

The South Dakota Great Face Program recognizes individuals who go the extra mile for their customers and community. These are people whose exceptional service is constantly being talked about by customers.

The South Dakota Great Place Program is a designation for businesses that put hospitality at the forefront of all they do as a company by providing guests with exceptional service. These are businesses that are constantly innovating ways to make their guests more comfortable and their communities more vibrant.

“These programs not only celebrate great customer service, but they also commend our industry members and businesses for all they do to serve people within their communities outside of work,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “If you do service right, it becomes who you are. We want to call attention to those people and businesses because they truly are our Great Faces and Great Places.”

These new programs are replacing the Certificate of Great Service and the Great Service Star programs previously administered by the South Dakota Department of Tourism. Though there are similarities in the nomination forms, there are distinct differences. Businesses will want to check all requirements before filling out the online application forms for the first time.

The launch of these two new programs is just the latest effort by the South Dakota Department of Tourism to strengthen the tourism industry in South Dakota. In 2018, the department refreshed its Online Hospitality Training program. The training, available at, is free, and any tourism industry business is encouraged to share the training with their frontline staff. In 2019, the department arranged for a hospitality expert to train frontline staff in communities across the state during National Travel and Tourism Week.

For more information on the department’s hospitality programs, visit

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