Travel South Dakota Is the Biggest Winner of the Evening, Garnering Two Platinum Awards, Including One Coveted Best-of-Show


PIERRE, S.D. – Travel South Dakota was the most awarded entity of the evening at the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards celebration for travel marketing excellence on Feb. 13, 2024, in New York City, New York.

In addition to taking home five 2023 Adrian Awards as part of its prestigious international marketing competition, including two Platinum awards and the coveted Best-of-Show recognition, Travel South Dakota’s Katlyn Svendsen, Global Public Relations & Content Services Senior Director, was recognized within the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds for 2023 for her exceptional accomplishments.

Travel South Dakota’s efforts were selected from more than 800 global entries submitted for 2023. The Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales & marketing efforts in advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. Travel South Dakota, in partnership with Karsh Hagan and Lou Hammond Group, took home the following 2023 Adrian Awards:

Platinum and Best of Show: Travel South Dakota | South Dakota Celebrates the Corn Kid
When Tariq “The Corn Kid” gained global stardom across social media channels, the team at Travel South Dakota connected the dots quickly to convert the viral momentum into media results and actionable steps inspiring tourism to South Dakota. Through a variety of tactics, including securing an official proclamation from Governor Noem naming Tariq the state’s “Corn-Bassador,” the campaign generated 46.6 billion impressions, 2,329 earned media placements, more than 7 million views across social channels, and nearly $70 million in media value. The gold award was fast-tracked to be honored with a Platinum and Best of Show distinction, which distinguishes the very best of the best campaigns.

Platinum President’s Award: Travel South Dakota | “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” Integrated Campaign (Business to Consumer)
With 180 million impressions to date, more than 2,700 flight bookings, 112,000+ hotel bookings, and more than $28 million in hotel revenue, Travel South Dakota’s “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” campaign enhanced brand awareness and qualified traffic to through behavior-based placement and strategic tactics designed to inspire mystery-starved travelers in their dream phase of vacation planning, ultimately influence bookings to South Dakota.

Top 25 Extraordinary Minds: Katlyn Svendsen, Travel South Dakota
Selected by a panel of top industry executives, the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge campaigns, triumph in challenging situations, and efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. Since Svendsen joined the Travel South Dakota in 2011, her proactive approach to working with local, regional, national and international media has inspired travel to South Dakota and fueled wanderlust throughout the state. Her deep relationships with media friends over the course of her career, as well as the internal team she’s developed, have kept South Dakota’s tourism industry and its partners at the core of her work.

Silver President’s Award: Travel South Dakota | “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” Advertising (Connected TV/Streaming/Linear)
South Dakota was positioned as a haven for jaded, mystery-starved travelers with this campaign, “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” earned 9,608,662 impressions, contributing to more than 29,000 hotel and flight bookings and fueling a larger integrated campaign that has generated more than $28 million in hotel revenue.

Bronze: Travel South Dakota | “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” Advertising (Print Collateral)
Celebrating South Dakota as an undiscovered and uncomplicated travel destination, print ads were designed to create a personal connection, inspiring the love for mystery and spontaneity during travel while daring audiences to take on a destination that lives outside of comfort zones. Ultimately, throughout the duration of the campaign, the ads helped bolster an integrated campaign that generated more than $28 million in hotel revenue and surpassed a record-breaking 2019 for visitation and visitor spending. Placements reached more than 6.3 million potential visitors nationwide through publications like Outside Magazine and National Geographic.

Bronze: Travel South Dakota | “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” Advertising (Brand Campaign)
Utilizing current data alongside “So Much South Dakota, So Little Time” integrated campaign elements like hand-drawn iconography and text, a media plan was executed involving TV & video, podcasts & streaming audio, digital, social, and traditional targeting people to South Dakota who would stay longer, advocate for the state, and become repeat visitors.

“What an unbelievable evening. We are still basking in the glow of the ceremony. The Adrian Awards are the most prestigious marketing awards in the tourism industry. I am so incredibly happy for our team and our state. The team at Travel South Dakota, including all of our marketing agencies, are beyond passionate about South Dakota and work tirelessly to produce captivating marketing that catches consumers’ attention and inspires visitation to The Mount Rushmore State,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. “Creatively harnessing South Dakota’s story while meaningfully engaging and expanding our priority audiences is something our team and partners take great pride in doing every day. It’s humbling to see that work honored on an international level. Katlyn Svendsen has been such an integral part of our department’s success for more than a decade, and we are thrilled to celebrate her achievements with the entire industry. We couldn’t be more proud of her and grateful for the incredible talents she brings to the Travel South Dakota Team.”

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.


Media Notes:
For downloadable image assets representing the winning campaign, please click here. All can be credited to Travel South Dakota.

The Hospitality Sales & 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 Commercial Strategy Conference, Sales Leader Forum, and Adrian Awards. 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


Katlyn Svendsen, Global Public Relations & Content Services Senior Director
Travel South Dakota
Email: [email protected]


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