Research & Reports
Keeping a close eye on travel trends is an important function for the Department of Tourism.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism understands that data and marketing research is a key component in any destination marketing organization’s tool kit. We strive to make the data actionable so it can inform creative, media placements, content strategy, and most importantly ….improve the visitor experience. We are committed to staying up-to-speed with changes in the media landscape. The department uses data and the latest technology in consumer modeling to ensure we invest our marketing dollars effectively by targeting the visitor most likely to travel to our great state. Monthly travel trends are also watched closely so we can adjust and shift our media placements as needed. In addition, we continue to look for ways to keep our industry informed of the state of travel in South Dakota whether it is through the Quarterly Insights email, online dashboard or annual studies. If there are specific questions that you have regarding visitation, markets, interest types, audience demographics or media preferences, please contact Kirk Hulstein or call 605-773-3301.

Yearly Totals


South Dakota generated $291 million in state and local taxes in 2017.


Amount each household in South Dakota would need to be taxed to replace the traveler taxes received by state and local governments.


Average visitors spend each day in South Dakota.

Monthly Travel Indicators

Here are the monthly performance metrics for the industry that we're watching. 


Total estimated visitor spending through September 2018. Spending is up 4.6% year over year. 


Total estimated visitation through September 2018. Estimated visitation is up 2.2% year over year. 


Total hotel room nights through September 2018. Room nights are up 1.5% year over year. 


Average Hotel Occupancy through September 2018. Average Occupancy is down 0.4% year over year. 


Total airport arrivals through September 2018. Arrivals are up 0.9% year over year. 


Total Inquiries received by the Department of Tourism through September 2018. Inquiries are up 18.7% year over year. 


Total web sessions through September 2018. Sessions are up 15.9% year over year. 

Note: All figures are calendar year-to-date through September. 

Tourism Reports