AP News

SD tourism industry's economic impact up 5 percent


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The tourism industry's impact on South Dakota's economy grew by 5 percent last year, even though the state sweltered through a hot and dry summer, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Thursday.

The nearly $2 billion economic impact includes direct spending by visitors, spending by companies that supply tourism businesses, advertising spending and private investment in facilities.

"The bottom line is tourism is a job-creating, revenue-producing industry," the governor said.

The report on tourism's economic impact was released in conjunction with the state's annual tourism conference. The report was done by IHS Global Insight, the firm that also does economic forecasting to help South Dakota put together its annual state budget, Daugaard said.

Daugaard said tourism generated about $291 million in state and local tax revenues last year, or nearly 19 percent of all state and local tax collections. Tourism also supported more than 27,700 jobs, or about one out of every 11 jobs in the state, he said.

About three-quarters of tourist spending came from visitors from other states, Daugaard said.

"That's the kind of money we like spent — other people's money," he said.

State Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen said another report shows the state's marketing efforts are successful in attracting visitors and generating economic activity. For every dollar the Tourism Department spends advertising the state as a vacation destination, South Dakota receives $5 in tax revenue, he said.

South Dakota has focused recent marketing efforts to attract visitors from Kansas City and Des Moines, Iowa, Hagen said. The Tourism Department plans to begin advertising in the Chicago areas in the next few years, he said.

"We have a lot of room to grow," Hagen said.


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