State's tourism industry overcomes obstacles - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

State's tourism industry overcomes obstacles

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We all know how beautiful and wonderful our great state is. But, South Dakota's tourism department still has to work hard to make sure people outside the state know how great it is.

"The good news is tourism continues to be a job-creating, revenue-generating industry that many of our South Dakotans are engaged in and enjoy being engaged in," said Governor Dennis Daugaard.

The total economic impact of the tourism industry increased last year by 2.8% from 2012, an overall impact of nearly $2 billion dollars.

"Because of tourism in this state, we're employing 27,000 people. One out of every 11 South Dakotans works in the tourism industry," said Secretary of Tourism James Hagen. "Without the tourism industry each household would be paying about $900 in taxes. That's what it means to our economy."

With so much at stake, Secretary Hagen and his staff are constantly working to make sure South Dakota is on everyone's must-see list.

"We have brand new television commercials that will be running and brand new print for national magazines. It's going to be a good year. We'll be debuting a brand new website, travelsd.com. We're really excited and optimistic," said Hagen.

One of the tourism department's most successful resources is the Mount Rushmore mascots. We went with them to New York City, and they were just as popular as the Broadway stars.

As Governor Daugaard knows it's getting people to come here that takes some work. Once they make the trip, they'll likely be back.  

"We are a friendly state. We are a friendly people. We're proud of our state, and we're excited. We like to show off our wares, and I think we've got great wares to show off."

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