After a record breaking 2015 summer of tourism for South Dakota, state officials are already planning for next summer. According to the Rapid City Journal article, 2015 brought tens of thousands of tourists to the state thanks to the 75th Sturgis Rally and the 50th Custer State Park buffalo roundup. In 2016, industry experts expect to grow visitor numbers as Mount Rushmore will celebrate its 75th anniversary and the National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Even without the big events, visitation was up by double-digit percentages to major attractions, including Mount Rushmore (12 percent) and Badlands National Park (14 percent), attendees of Rapid City's third annual tourism summit were told Oct. 28.
Industry officials also noted increasing interest from national publications, including a partnership with National Geographic, and success in marketing the state to people who live further away than neighboring states. Three demographics are being targeted: young families with children, childless couples seeking outdoor adventures and so-called "bucket-listers" over age 50 seeking singular, memorable experiences.
Read more about South Dakota's tourism industry in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's news archive.
Find more information from the South Dakota's Department of Tourism online.