Tourism numbers continue to climb sky high, South Dakota 2021 Annual Tourism Report

The report details 4.5 billion dollars in visitor spending
The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As we inch closer to summer, the prime tourism months here in the Black Hills, the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s Annual Tourism Report is released Thursday. Which, showcases last year’s numbers.

Sue Argabrite, who’s travelling with a few others in their RV’s, says she came to share “the scenery, the history [and] the culture.” All things contributing to four and a half billion dollars of visitor spending across the state. Nearly a quarter of which was driven in food and drink sales.

“Food,” says Argabrite smiling. “We love the food!” One of her travelling companions, Bruce Mayberry, agrees. “Love it,” he says. “We wanted to go here for 20 years, me and my wife.”

No matter how long the wait, when they come, they’ve got to stay somewhere. That means with more visitors, hotel occupancy has been on the up and up too. With that, so are nights stayed and booked, all by about a 30-percent climb. Marina Mikkelsen, Front Desk Supervisor at the Alex Johnson says, “and this year, we’re seeing even more. We’ve been selling out since, I believe like a couple weeks ago. And, just continue to go through tourist season and the summer and everything.”

Although tourists have already started to make there way to the area... Mikkelsen’s right, the warming weather and summer will bring more to “Explore the area and hopefully have some fun,”Argabrite says.

From the City of presidents, to the Badlands, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore. and everything in-between. Mayberry says he and his wife will, “just kind of check everything out. See everything.”

You can find the full report here.

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