Tourism improves as summer progresses

PIERRE, S.D. (KWAT) — It’s been a down year for tourism in South Dakota, but that’s the case in every state because of COVID-19.

South Dakota Tourism Department Secretary Jim Hagen says spending and visitor numbers have been down, but the silver lining is that as summer has progressed, things have gotten better.

Hagen also addressed travel spending.

He says the message from South Dakota tourism has been one of “safety first.”

Hagen says inquiries are strong, and not just from people looking to vacation here. Some are looking into making a permanent, one way move to South Dakota.

Hagen says the pandemic has created a “pent up demand” for travel, some of which will carry into next summer.