PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Department of Tourism says a reduction in visitors and tourism income broke a 10-year streak of industry growth last year.
According to an annual study by Tourism Economics released Thursday, the number of visitors to the state dropped by 13% to 12.6 million people in 2020. But the state fared better than others during the pandemic and the industry’s annual two-day conference in Pierre was marked with optimism.
Attendees praised Gov. Kristi Noem for keeping the state open for business during the pandemic.
Visitors to South Dakota spent $3.4 billion last year, a decline of 18% from 2019.