State shows off to tour operators

State shows off to tour operators Group tour operators from around the country will visit South Dakota June 4-9 to get acquainted with all the state has to offer. The South Dakota Office of Tourism is hosting the familiarization tour for nearly 30 group tour operators.

"This familiarization tour will give tour operators a chance to experience South Dakota first-hand so they can better sell the state to their clients," said Patricia Van Gerpen, director of the Office of Tourism. "This tour is part of our overall strategy to continue attracting group tours to the state. Overnight tour groups inject thousands of dollars into local communities so it is vital that tour operators know of all there is to see and do in the land of Great Faces and Great Places."�

Group tour operators from New York, Connecticut, California, Texas and other states will visit South Dakota communities like Deadwood, Keystone, Rapid City, Mitchell and Sioux Falls.

They will visit attractions like Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, Corn Palace, Sertoma Butterfly House and Falls Park.

Partners in the private sector provide complimentary admission, meals and lodging for the familiarization tour.

The tour follows the itinerary of the 2 Nation Signature Tour. 2 Nation Tours is a consortium of tourism offices for the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, and the province of Manitoba to provide tour operators with new itineraries linking the three states and one Canadian province. Learn more about 2 Nation Tours at www.TourSDakota.com.

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