PIERRE, S.D. – Travel South Dakota is partnering with the U.S. Travel Association and communities across the state to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), May 7-13.

“Travel Forward,” the 2023 NTTW theme, recognizes the industry's role in keeping our communities vibrant while acknowledging that travel serves as a local and global economic driver and provides workforce opportunities.

“Tourism is big business in South Dakota,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Tourism generated 11% of total state sales tax in 2022. This helps fund essential services in our state, provides jobs & income for families, and helped South Dakota maintain the strongest economy in America.” Visitors spent a record-setting 4.7 billion dollars in South Dakota in 2022. This surpassed all previous records, including the surge of travel spending in 2021.

“NTTW celebrates one of South Dakota’s strongest, and most incredible, industries,” said James Hagen, Secretary of Travel South Dakota. “The tourism industry has set monumental records in South Dakota in recent years and positively impacted our citizens. Looking forward, we anticipate 2023 to be just as great.”

Throughout NTTW, South Dakota landmarks will be lit red, the official color of the tourism industry. Landmarks set to be lit red include:

  • Storybook Land (entrance and Tin Man slide), Aberdeen
  • Wylie Park (entrance), Aberdeen
  • Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Brookings
  • McCrory Gardens, Brookings
  • Visit Brookings, Brookings
  • Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer (one night only – May 12, dusk-10pm)
  • The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs
  • The World’s Only Corn Palace, Mitchell
  • The Monument, Rapid City
  • The Rushmore Hotel, Rapid City
  • Main Street Square, Rapid City
  • Arc of Dreams, Sioux Falls
  • Falls Park, Sioux Falls
  • Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls
  • Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls
  • Black Hills State University – Woodburn Hall, Spearfish
  • The Buffalo Chip, Sturgis
  • DakotaDome, Vermillion
  • Sanford Coyote Sports Center, Vermillion

Created by Congress in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week is in its 40th 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, visit

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Travel South Dakota 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]


Newsroom Home