SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - James Hagen, South Dakota Secretary of Tourism is optimistic that tourism will be up in South Dakota this season.
“Right around tax time last year, people answered a survey and 45 percent of respondents said they were going to use their refunds on a vacation this year,” said Hagen. “Another reason, gas prices are down, 30 to 35 cents a gallon over last year.”
Hagen said they have been flooding the airwaves and newspapers on the target markets with their ‘Great Getaways’ ad to include Des Moines, Kansas City, Minneapolis and for the first time Chicago. Whether it’s on the web, cable TV, news papers or any other means, we are trying to get visitors to South Dakota.
“I encourage South Dakotans to get out and explore their own backyard too,” said Hagen. “We have so much to offer along the I-29 Corridor, with all the museums, galleries and wineries and our state parks are second to none in our country. Next weekend is the free weekend at state parks and I encourage people to get out and take advantage of the camping, fishing and hiking.”
Hagan said people who come to South Dakota say: “From the East to West, they had no idea our state looked like this; the rolling prairies, the glacial lakes, the Missouri River and all of the great attractions.” The second thing they say: “Had we known it was so beautiful here, had we known there were so many great things to see and do, our 4 day vacation would have turned into an 8 day vacation.”
“You add our hospitality and our friendliness, people are blown away by their experiences here,” said Hagan. “People who visit here say they would give their right and left arm to have what we have in South Dakota.”
Hagen encourages people planning their vacation to go to travelsd.com and request a travel guide and to check out the upcoming events. Also people can find answers by going to their local convention and visitor’s bureau either on line or in person.
James Hagen, South Dakota Secretary of Tourism was a guest on the Greg Belfrage Show, May 6, 2013.