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Despite Challenges, Tourism Impact Up in 2011


PIERRE, S.D. – Despite a cool and damp spring and early summer, major flooding and high gas prices, South Dakota’s visitor industry showed improvement in 2011.

A new report from IHS Global Insight shows that the total impact of South Dakota’s visitor industry increased by 1.51 percent* in 2011 over 2010.

Tourism’s impact, as defined by IHS Global Insight, includes only those dollars that are retained within South Dakota. It includes core tourism (visitor spending), non-core tourism (spending by tourism industry suppliers), government spending (Tourism’s marketing dollars, Info Center expenditures), private investment in infrastructure, and resident outbound expenditures.

“In 2011, tourism generated 18.7 percent of all state and local tax revenues in South Dakota,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Tourism continues to be a revenue-generating, job-creating industry year after year, regardless of the challenges it faces.”

2011 Tourism By the Numbers:

  • More than 27,000 jobs were supported by core travel and tourism economic activity
  • Tourism activity generated $271 million in state and local government revenues in 2011
  • Without tourism, each household would pay about $833 more in taxes each year
  • One out of every 11 South Dakota jobs depends on travel and tourism
  • 8.2 percent of visitor spending came from international visitors

“To have even a slight increase after the year we had is a huge testament to the perseverance of our visitor industry,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. “We worked together, adjusted our message, and ended up coming out ahead.”

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the South Dakota State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


*This number includes actual numbers from January-October, 2011, and forecasted numbers for November and December, 2011.

In past years, visitor spending numbers and the rate of increase were calculated by Dr. Michael Madden for the Economic and Fiscal Impacts Study. This year, the Department of Tourism contracted solely with IHS Global Insight for economic impact reporting. Because the two have differing methodologies, the 2011 rate of increase from Global Insight should not be compared to the 2010 rate of increase from Dr. Madden.

For more information about IHS Global Insight and to view the full report, visit