South Dakota residents overwhelmingly support tourism

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore(KOTA)
Updated: May. 21, 2023 at 7:00 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - When it comes to supporting the tourism industry, South Dakotans are leaps and bounds ahead of other states, according to a recent survey.

During National Travel & Tourism Week, Governor Kristi Noem touted the great amount of support that South Dakota residents have for the tourism industry.

In December 2022, Travel South Dakota and Longwoods International collaborated on a study to learn more about how residents of the state interact with and think about tourism. Throughout the study’s four years of existence, South Dakota’s results ranked among the highest of any state, demonstrating strong support for the industry.

“Every day, South Dakotans witness and recognize the power of tourism in their state,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Tourism supports jobs, eases the tax burden, and allows us to continue to introduce our Great Faces and Great Places to new and returning visitors every year.”

The report found that:

  • 8 in 10 residents surveyed think tourism is good for the state, and they believe South Dakota benefits from a strong tourism industry.
  • 7 in 10 residents care about the success of the tourism industry in Mount Rushmore State and believe the positive benefits of tourism far outweigh any negative impacts.
  • 7 in 10 residents surveyed support tourism growth and believe tourism should be encouraged in South Dakota. This shows that the development of tourism-related businesses and activities is strongly supported by residents.

“The resident is the most important stakeholder in every destination, and our study shows that, overall, a strong majority of South Dakotans approve of, appreciate, and understand the economic and quality of life benefits that tourism brings to the state,” said Amir Eylon, President & CEO of Longwoods International.

The national study found that, compared to their national and regional counterparts, a larger percentage of South Dakotans support tourism and its development, growth, and positive attributes.

A full report of the resident sentiment survey can be found on