Last year was not a good year for the majority of businesses in this country. The travel industry was hit particularly hard. Travel, in general, became more of a, dreaming of the future, sort of virtual exploration of National Parks, zoos, museums, and other faraway places.

Here in South Dakota, tourism is our second leading industry. That means a lot of interested travelers. "In 2019, visitor spending generated more than $84 million in state and local tax revenue in Minnehaha County alone." In 2020, "Visitors to South Dakota spent $3.4 billion, a decline of 18% from 2019.

However, according to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, other states had it much worse, losing around 45% of their tourism income.

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But with a light at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel, people are beginning to see themselves, hitting the road, taking to the skies, and floating away. And, as everyone knows, that takes planning.

That is what National Travel & Tourism Week (May 2 through 8) is all about! Here in Sioux Falls, a number of events for the public and for members of the travel industry are going on to celebrate the return of wanderlust.

On Monday, May 3, at 4 PM in front of the Falls Park Visitor & Information Center, it will be the kickoff of this special week saluting travel, tourism, and the people who work in the industry.

Several speakers will be part of the event:

  • South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem
  • Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Ten Haken
  • South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen
  • Experience Sioux Falls Executive Director Teri Schmidt

If you're attending, you're encouraged to wear red which is the official color of National Travel & Tourism Week and you're invited to have an ice cream treat at the end of the celebration.

For more information, see Experience Sioux Falls, or call 605-275-6060.

Sources: Experience Sioux Falls and US News & World Report

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