Travel Insights - Key Terms & Definitions

The following glossary of terms is provided to help define the metrics shared by the South Dakota Department of Tourism in our quarterly Travel Insights e-newsletters. For further information, please contact Kirk Hulstein.

To receive this e-newsletter each quarter, be sure to subscribe to The Mile Marker. (Anyone previously subscribed to the eFYI e-newsletter is subscribed to The Mile Marker and will continue to receive these and other emails from the Department of Tourism.)




A visitor includes all overnight and day visitors – resident and non-resident – traveling outside of their usual environment, defined as beyond 50 miles.

Visitor Spending

The direct spending by visitors on lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, local transportation and air transportation within the state.

Visitor Impact

The dollar amount of direct, indirect and induced impacts of all tourism sales that are retained within the state.



Web traffic is the data tracked from visitors to, the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s primary visitor promotion website. The values provided in the email represent the following:

Web Session

A series of interactions taken on during a specified time frame by a user. A user may have multiple sessions within one time frame.

Website Pageview

Each time a visitor views a page on a website. The data in the email includes the total number of pages viewed within the specified date range. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Time on Site

An average calculated from the total duration of all sessions on the website divided by the number of total sessions.


Someone who has had at least one session within the specified date range. The data includes both new and returning users.




The top 10 states of origin with the highest number of online requests. The location information is provided by Google Analytics and is automatically derived from the IP address of the hit. (Call center and mail inquiries are not included.)



Gaming Tax Revenue

The Department of Tourism's portion of the tax revenue generated by the Deadwood Gaming Tax.

Tourism Tax Revenue

The amount of revenue generated by the 1.5% Tourism Tax which applies to hotels and lodging establishments, campgrounds, motor vehicle and recreational equipment rentals, recreational services, spectator events and visitor attractions in the state.



The data provided in the email is provided, with permission, by Smith Travel Research Inc./STR Global, Ltd.  All data is processed by STR using both the current and historical sampling of hotels (properties of 15 rooms or more). For further questions about the methodology used to produce the reports, please email Kirk Hulstein.

Hotel Occupancy

The total number of rooms sold, divided by rooms available, multiplied by 100. Occupancy is always expressed as an average percentage of rooms occupied.

Room Nights

The number of rooms sold or rented (excludes complimentary rooms).

Hotel Revenue

The total room revenue generated from the sale or rental of rooms.



Please contact Kirk Hulstein, Industry Outreach & Development Director, for more information regarding these and other travel indicators at 605-773-3301 or [email protected].