PIERRE, S.D. – National Travel & Tourism Week will be celebrated nationwide May 1-7. The week is a salute to travel and tourism in America, and a celebration of what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.
“Just look at the numbers. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 52,000 right here in South Dakota,” said South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “This week, we are celebrating what travel means to our state and our communities, and we call on everyone – from elected officials to local residents – to join us in acknowledging this important industry.”
In 2015, South Dakota’s tourism industry saw more visitor spending than any prior year. Visitors spent more than $3.78 billion on everything from lodging to souvenirs, which generated more than $270 million in tax revenue for the state and local governments.
According to the most recent study by Tourism Economics, without the travel and tourism industry, each South Dakota household would have to pay $825 more in taxes annually to maintain the current level of state and local tax receipts. Additionally, the travel and tourism industry in South Dakota supports more than 52,000 jobs.
In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents of and visitors to South Dakota. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression.
“Think of it this way: if travel were able to run for president in 2016, it’d be the perfect candidate,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “It’s a job creator, educator, and it’s pro-family and pro-health. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we’re saluting how our dynamic industry contributes to America and continues to do wonders for our business and personal lives.”
The Department of Tourism provides funding to South Dakota convention and visitors bureaus that wish to promote National Travel & Tourism Week on a local level. Partners for 2016 include Aberdeen, Brookings, Chamberlain/Oacoma, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Watertown.
Each partner community is planning special events during National Travel & Tourism Week, from hospitality training sessions to tourism-awareness promotions.
To learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week 2016, go to www.ustravel.org.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.
South Dakota Department of Tourism