January 19, 2021

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Many thought one of South Dakota’s top industries would take a huge hit in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But, tourism officials say it wasn’t as bad as some other states because of South Dakota’s outdoor opportunities.

From hiking in the Black Hills to driving through the Badlands, South Dakota’s outdoor venues attracted tourists in 2020 and the state tourism board thinks 2021 will be the same.

Hospitality businesses and organizations across the state are looking forward to a new year and a vaccine for a fresh start in 2021.

A scaled-down version of the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism begins tomorrow (Wednesday) in Pierre, and continues through Thursday.

Governor Kristi Noem and Tourism Department Secretary Jim Hagen will close the conference by revealing the 2020 economic impact of the tourism industry in South Dakota. 

The theme for this year’s conference is, “Onward!”