Tourism benefits Clay County Visitors to Clay County spent $7,311,751 in 2003 on lodging, food and beverages, attractions and retail items, compared to $7,051,546 in 2002. Statewide, visitors spent $698 million, an estimated 5.3 percent increase over 2002, marking the highest level of visitor spending ever achieved in South Dakota.
"Each and every year, visitors to South Dakota help fuel the state's economy by funneling millions of dollars to gas and sales revenues and supporting thousands of visitor industry jobs," said Patricia Van Gerpen, director of the South Dakota Office of Tourism. "Whether they are family vacationers, international visitors, sports enthusiasts or tour groups, visitor spending keeps South Dakota businesses thriving and local residents employed."
Visitor spending in 2003 created a $1.75 billion impact on South Dakota's economy. It also generated an estimated $42.7 million in gasoline and sales tax, and the visitor industry accounted for approximately 31,828 jobs statewide.