Marketing for this year’s fall tourism looks a little different

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Going into 2021 it was unsure how the summer tourism season would go, but with the huge influx of tourists to the area., it ended up exceeding expectations.

“It’s just been a really busy season. Record breaking in some months,” said Stacey Gramun, Executive Vie President of Sales and Marketing for Visit Rapid City.

“Most businesses are saying they’re up over 2019 and 2019 was an excellent year for us, so we’re very happy with the outcome of 2021,” said Michelle Thomson, President of the Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association.

Now, with kids returning to school and the seasons beginning to shift, so do the marketing techniques from Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association and Visit Rapid City.

“In the summer, we are a very heavy family destination. We still get a lot of couples, younger couples and older couples, but family travel is really strong in the Black Hills in the summer,” said Thomson.

The tourism industry’s shoulder season caters to the fall market and is traditionally targeted towards couples without children.

“But this year been a little bit different. We’re doing that, but were also still targeting some of those family because we’ve learned over this last year that a lot of families are still traveling with kids in the fall and winter because they can learn anywhere. They’re doing the remote learning because of the pandemic,” said Gramun.

In fact, the Black Hills is actually becoming more of year-round destination spot for families.

“So, while we don’t have as many people her in the fall and winter season and spring, we do have quite a lot of people that still come to visit the Black Hills and Badlands area,” said Thomson.

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