South Dakota Leads the Way in Tourism Growth

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In South Dakota, our economy thrives on tourism. With summer right around the corner families from across the country will be traveling to catch a glimpse of South Dakota’s natural beauty.

Whether it’s the rugged Badlands or Mount Rushmore set atop one of our state’s highest peaks, Americans will travel from near and far to experience what so many South Dakotans have experienced time and again.

In 2021 alone, with more than 13.5 million visitors and a 30% increase from 2020, our state set records in tourism in part because we embraced freedom.

  • $4.4 billion was spent by visitors while in South Dakota
  • 54,208 jobs sustained by the tourism industry
  • $980 in tax dollars saved by each South Dakota household
  • 8.2 million visitors to our state parks, 2.3 million to Custer State Park alone

Early 2022 numbers indicate a successful year for South Dakota’s tourism as we continue to lead the nation in tourism growth over the past two years:

  • 11% increase in overnight stays – the only state with double-digit growth
  • 18% increase over 2019 in road trips – leading nationally

Campaign spokesman, Chris Hupke stated the following about Governor Noem’s success in breaking South Dakota and national records in tourism during her first term on behalf of the campaign: “When Americans are faced with lockdowns and mandates, South Dakota’s charm continues to draw those inward. For weeks or years to come, we welcome all and embrace freedom and liberty. Because of Governor Noem’s leadership and pro-freedom policies, South Dakota’s tourism economy continues to thrive, and South Dakotan small businesses and families continue to grow.