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Tourism Awards

Each year at the annual South Dakota Governor's Conference on Tourism, awards are presented to outstanding members or organizations that have contributed to the state's visitor industry.

  • The Ben Black Elk Award is presented to an individual or individuals whose enduring devotion dramatically affects South Dakota's visitor industry. The 2014 award winner was Phil Lampert (Custer).
  • The A.H. Pankow Award honors a member of the print or broadcast media or public relations industry who has shown superior interest in and coverage of the South Dakota visitor industry. The 2014 award winner was Shawn Cable (Sioux Falls).
  • The George S. Mickelson Great Service Award honors a business or organization that promotes hospitality and strives to keep it a leading tourism marketing tool. The winners of the two awards for 2013 were Black Hills Central Reservations (Deadwood) and Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza (Rapid City).
  • The Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award honors an industry partner for its innovative thinking in marketing or special promotion. This award is presented by the Department of Tourism on a case-by-case basis. The 2014 recipient of the award was the South Dakota Missouri River Tourism Association.