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Tourism visitors were up but hotel occupancy down slightly in 2013


PIERRE, S.D. – The total economic impact of South Dakota’s visitor industry increased last year by 2.8 percent* from 2012, translating to an overall economic impact of nearly $2 billion. The 2013 figures are from a new report by IHS Global Insight.

In addition, a 2012 study conducted by Longwoods International showed that, for every dollar spent on marketing by the state Department of Tourism, South Dakota receives $5 in tax revenues.

“South Dakota’s visitor industry continues to show its strength, despite facing numerous challenges,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said. “In 2013, South Dakota faced a spring blizzard and ice storm, federal sequestration, an early fall blizzard and the federal government shutdown. And yet, the visitor industry persevered with another record-setting year.”

2013 Economic Impact Statistics:

  • 2.8 percent – The increase in the economic impact of tourism on South Dakota’s economy last year.
  • $1.98 billion – Tourism’s direct impact on South Dakota’s economy in 2013.
  • 1:5 – The ratio between dollars spent on tourism marketing and tax revenue received. For every dollar Tourism spends marketing the state as a vacation destination, South Dakota receives $5 in tax revenue.
  • 19.41 percent – The amount of state and local tax revenue generated by tourism-related activity in 2013. This totaled $295 million.
  • 27,958 – The number of jobs directly generated by the tourism industry in 2013. That’s 1-out-of-11South Dakota jobs that depend on travel and tourism.
  • $892 – The amount of additional taxes each household in the state would pay if South Dakota’s tourism industry did not exist.
  • 8.6 percent - Percentage of visitor spending that came from international visitors.

2013 Year-Over-Year Comparisons:

·         Taxable sales were up 4.5 percent

·         Inquiries to the SD Dept. of Tourism were up 8.4 percent

·         Unique visitors to the consumer website, www.TravelSD.com, were up 3 percent

·         Visitation was up 3.1 percent

·         Hotel occupancy was down 1.7 percent

·         Information Center stats

  • o   Total cars were up 8 percent
  • o   Total tour buses were up 9 percent
  • o   Tour buses carrying foreign visitors were up 38.2 percent

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council and the South Dakota State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


*This includes actual numbers from January-October 2013 and forecasted numbers for November and December 2013.


·         Tourism’s impact, as defined by IHS Global Insight, includes only those dollars that are retained in South Dakota. It includes core tourism (visitor spending), non-core tourism (spending by tourism industry suppliers), government spending (Tourism’s marketing dollars), private investment in infrastructure and resident outbound expenditures.

·         To view the IHS Global Insight report, as well as the 2013 Department of Tourism Annual Report, visitwww.SDVisit.com.