South Dakota tourism generates $1.95 billion in economic impact
Your American Journey is drawing big crowds and big money to South Dakota.
Thursday, the South Dakota Department of Tourism announced visitors to the state generated an overall economic impact of $1.95 billion in 2012. That's a five percent increase over 2011.
That number is based on $291 million in state and local sales tax revenue from visitor spending on things like food, shopping and hotel reservations.
"We are humbled by the fact that this industry continues to perform year after year after year," Deputy Tourism Secretary Wanda Goodman said.
Goodman says 76% of the revenue is thanks to out-of-state visitors and she credits much of that to the department's Your American Journey campaign, which was launched last year. Television commercials featuring sweeping images of South Dakota landmarks aired in two new areas, Des Moines, Iowa and Kansas City, Missouri. Goodman says it's been several years since the department has done any marketing in Des Moines. 2012 was the first time it's ever done marketing in Kansas City. Goodman says visitors from both regions were up triple digits.
While visitors are generating revenue, they're also creating jobs. Tourism supports 27,000 jobs in South Dakota; that's one out of every 11 jobs in the state.