To the editor:
South Dakota is just coming off its peak tourist season. And, despite a tough economic climate, most travel indicators are showing increased visitation to South Dakota.
The people of South Dakota deserve a pat on the back for that. More than 30,000 South Dakotans work directly in the visitor industry helping make South Dakota a premier travel destination. What's more, virtually every South Dakotan plays a role in making our state a welcoming and enjoyable vacation spot. Thank you for making South Dakota a hospitable, unique, and relaxing experience for vacationers.
Your work as ambassadors for South Dakota greatly impacts your communities, state, and the economy. Last year, visitors spent more than $967 million in South Dakota. A recent study commissioned by the South Office of Tourism tells us:
• If tourism didn't exist, each household would have to pay about $960 more in taxes to maintain the current level of state and local tax receipts.
• Each visitor generates $76 in wages paid to workers directly employed in tourism.
• Every 342 visitors create a new job in South Dakota.
With holiday visitors and winter sports enthusiasts visiting South Dakota, we have another chance to spotlight our great state.
I encourage you to keep up the good work in making visitors feel at home in South Dakota.
Secretary, Department of Tourism & State