Published on : Saturday, January 22, 2022
South Dakota witnessed a record number of visitors in 2021, making it the first state to fully get back to pre-pandemic levels, said the tourism officials.
The state Department of Tourism said that visitors spent more than $4.4 billion last year, generating $160 million in tax revenue for South Dakota and $184 million for local governments.
To quote Jim Hagen, South Dakota secretary of tourism,“We have to remember that tourism is generating sales tax and other taxes that fund things like fire fighters and law enforcement and help with infrastructure. It’s an important part of our economy. Without those visitors, our economy would look really different.”
Tourism also supports more than 54,000 jobs across the state. South Dakota’s visitor spending saw an increase of 30% from 2020. The amount spent per trip also increased from $282 in 2020 to $323 in 2021. Hagen said that tourists were looking for vacations with wide open spaces, national parks, mountains and rural areas, making South Dakota a preferred travel destination.
Hagen is hopefulthat tourism demand will continue through 2022.