PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism is partnering with the U.S. Travel Association and industry partners across the state to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), May 2-8.

NTTW recognizes the “Power of Travel” and the industry’s role in bringing back vibrant communities, powering our state’s economy, restoring the U.S. economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America.

“National Travel and Tourism Week is a time to appreciate the role tourism plays in South Dakota’s economy,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Over the past year we have been reminded just how vital tourism is to South Dakota. It boosts our economy, provides employment for our people, and connects communities in a way no other industry can.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism industry in other states, South Dakota fared much better. The state welcomed 12.6 million visitors that resulted in $3.4 billion in visitor spending. Visitors generated $276 million in taxes, which provided $780 in tax savings for every household in South Dakota.

“No doubt 2020 was a challenging year for the travel industry,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “I am proud of the dedication and perseverance of our industry members to keep pushing through and looking ahead. Their optimism and work in 2020 was exemplary and has laid the groundwork for what is shaping up to be a strong 2021 tourism season.”

Throughout NTTW, South Dakota landmarks will be lit red, the official color of NTTW, to show support for the tourism industry. Landmarks lit red will include the Arc of Dreams and Falls Park in Sioux Falls, The Children’s Museum of South Dakota in Brookings, Crazy Horse Memorial in Custer, The DakotaDome in Vermillion, The World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, Storybook Land Castle in Aberdeen, the spires on Main Street Square in Rapid City, and “The Tree of Life” sculpture in Lemmon.

Created by Congress in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week is in its 38th year and is an annual acknowledgment of the impact of travel on states, regions, cities, and the entire United States. During the first full week in May each year, communities nationwide unite to showcase the impact of travel.

For more information on NTTW, please 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 Svendsen, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301
Email: [email protected]