NEW: Hagen says COVID-19 impacts on tourism worse than 9/11 (Audio)

March 19, 2020
Mike Tanner

PIERRE, S.D.–The COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for just about everyone these days, but what most people are NOT thinking about is traveling.

South Dakota Tourism Department Secretary Jim Hagen (pictured) and others in the industry are understandably nervous about what this spring and summer may…or may not bring…in terms of travel. 

Hagen spoke with KWAT News Director Mike Tanner about these uncertain times…..

Hagen says this is a terrible time for people with connections to the tourism industry, from hotels to campgrounds, and restaurants to bars.

But if you look ahead…..

Hagen says the difficulty is not knowing how long this pandemic will last. In the meantime, the Tourism Department has adjusted their marketing campaign….

Hagen says the department has been proactive in cutting spending wherever they can, saying it’s the, “prudent thing to do.”