Tourism Conference in Pierre; businesses work together - KOTA Territory News

Tourism Conference in Pierre; businesses work together

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"Think big, bold, and beyond."

That's the slogan for 2014's Governor's Conference on Tourism. It's an opportunity to gather and discuss bringing more visitors to South Dakota.

Workshops, speakers, and think-tanks gave people in the visitor-industry business the opportunity to meet each other and share ideas.

Wanda Goodman, deputy secretary for South Dakota Department of Tourism, says 600 people registered for 2014's conference, which is the yearly average.

The attending individuals were made-up of veterans, like Custer State Park's Craig Pugsley, and more than 100 newcomers.

Pugsley says it's all about working together to bring more people into South Dakota. "Our competition is not in the Black Hills, our competition is Yellowstone and Jackson. To get people to South Dakota, we'll all win if that happens," said Pugsley.

Goodman says the Department of Tourism encourages partnerships between industries. "I think that's one advantage South Dakota has over our competing states is that South Dakota is a small state," said Goodman. "We all know each other for most part."

And for those who don't know each other, Goodman says they can use the conference. "To network and learn the differences and what they're doing and how they can work together," said Goodman.

Pugsley says partnerships  have been good for Custer State Park. "It seems to be working; we've had record setting seasons the past three years," said Pugsley. 

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