PIERRE, S.D. – Travel South Dakota’s “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” was honored as the nation’s best tourism integrated marketing campaign by the U.S. Travel Association and industry peers at the annual ESTO (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) conference in Savannah, Georgia.
“Travel South Dakota continues to push the envelope by creating unique ways to tell South Dakota’s incredible story,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Their efforts are attracting visitors from across the world to our beautiful state. This prestigious award is a testimony to the great work our tourism team is doing to share South Dakota’s Freedom, fresh air, and so much more.”
“So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” aimed to remind potential visitors that South Dakota has more than Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It built awareness of South Dakota’s diverse offerings, including outdoor adventure, culture, arts, and culinary attractions. The campaign worked to inspire visitors and encourage them to immerse themselves in the state’s vast tourism offerings as well as to discover its mystic and rugged beauty.
The award-winning campaign launched in 2022 as the debut campaign following Travel South Dakota’s brand refresh. Travel South Dakota created the winning campaign in partnership with advertising agency Karsh Hagan, following extensive research on visitor sentiment and consumer behaviors, which enlightened campaign tactics and creative.
“We have been thrilled to share this campaign with consumers across the globe, so it’s truly an honor to be recognized at a national level,” said James Hagen, Secretary of Travel South Dakota. “Not only did the campaign achieve outstanding media and economic impact results, it also inspired visitors to look at our state in a fresh way.”
The “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” shoulder campaign began in November 2022 and continued into early 2023. The creative work resonated with travelers and provided an expansive view of South Dakota which led to an increased interest in the state. Success from the campaign surpassed record-breaking 2019 results and led to an increase in visitation by 7.6% compared to 2019, and increased visitor spending by 28% over 2019.
The Mercury Awards recognize excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing from state tourism offices and are open to all U.S. state and territory tourism offices that are members of the U.S. Travel Association.
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.
A link to campaign material can be found here.
Katlyn Svendsen, Global Media & Public Relations Director
Travel South Dakota
Email: [email protected]