Tourism Week, an unofficial start to Black Hills summer tourism - KOTA Territory News

Tourism Week, an unofficial start to Black Hills summer tourism season?

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May 4th through 12th is the 30th Annual National Travel and Tourism Week, a week meant for celebrating the effects of tourism on local communities.

And with tourism being South Dakota's second largest industry the effects are massive.

Last year alone 27,000 jobs in the state were supported by the economic activity the industry brings.

In Pennington County, visitor spending contributed to an economic impact of more than $792 million dollars in 2012 alone.

And this year that number could be even higher, many area resorts, campgrounds, and hotels are showing large increases in reservations.

Michelle Thompson with the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau says this springs snow caused tourism to start sluggish, but now it's really picking up.

"Last year our weather was really nice in the spring. So tourism started a little bit earlier. And with our snow this year it didn't start quite so early. But I think now, it's starting off with a bang," says Thompson.

"We got beat up a little bit in the last couple of weeks with the snow. It wasn't the best for the visitor industry. But May is starting off really good," says General Manager of Prarie Edge in Rapid City, Dan Tribby.

Without tourism and the money is brings to the state through taxes, each South Dakotan would pay in more than $878 more.

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